Monthly Archives: August 2015

A day in life – gnocchi recipe

A while ago I did a little video of Amy baking some cupcakes. She really enjoys cooking with me, sometime she helps me, sometimes she is a bit of a pain to be honest 🙂 but when I have time I let her helping me.

On Sunday, since it was a rainy day, I decided to make gnocchi for lunch and I asked Amy to help me. The week before we bought at the farmers market purple potatoes, I usually make them with normal potatoes but I wanted to try something different.

Gnocchi is a main dish made of potatoes, very easy and quick to make, very tasty with the right sauce, and not expensive at all! Also if you try to make it with children they will surely have fun 🙂

 

Preparation time (just mum): 20 minutes

Preparation time (with children): not clearly defined

Cooking time for potatoes: about 15 mins

 

You will need for 4 people:

1 kg of potatoes

300gr of flour

1 egg

salt

 

Wash and boil the potatoes with the skin in salty water. When they are ready, tender but still firm, you can check with a fork, drain, peel and mash them on a wooden board.

gnocchi-recipe

Add 1 egg and a pinch of salt and knead until the dough forms a ball. Now take small portions of dough and shape them into long snakes. Cut them about 1 cm long. The knife we used wasn’t sharp and Amy was supervised the whole time. Make sure you keep your children safe 🙂

gnocchi-recipe-how-to-make

Once they are cut lay them in a tray with a bit of flour until you are done with the whole dough. Let them rest for 10 minutes and then boil them in slightly salted water. They cook very quickly, once they raise up to the top, drain them and add your favourite sauce.

You can have a nice taste with simple butter and sage. You can have them in bolognese sauce, simple tomato and basil . . . there are so many different ways.

The purple potato I use is pretty sweet and I made a cheese sauce with cream, parmesan cheese, pecorino, carnia, a mature hard cheese from Asiago (where I come from) and pepper.

They were really delicious!

Have a look at this little video we made 🙂

 

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Most popular Baby names in 2014

Yesterday it was released the list of the most popular names in 2014 in England and Wales.

Oliver and Amelia were the most popular first names given to babies born in England and Wales in 2014. Amelia has been in the top spot since 2011 while Oliver has been in top spot since 2013.

In England, Amelia was the most popular girls’ name in 8 out of the 9 regions and Oliver was the most popular boys’ name in 7 out of the 9 regions.

In Wales, Oliver remained the most popular boys’ name, while Amelia has been the most popular girls’ name since 2012.

Lily replaced Mia in the top 10 most popular girls’ names for England and Wales, climbing from number 12 to 9.

Data  from http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/baby-names–england-and-wales/wp-content/uploads/2014/index.html

Are you curious to know the top 10?

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Girls’ top 10:

1 Amelia

2 Olivia

3 Isla

4 Emily

5 Poppy

6 Ava

7 Isabella

8 Jessica

9 Lily

10 Sophie

Boys’ top 10:

1 Oliver

2 Jack

3 Harry

4 Jacob

5 Charlie

6 Thomas

7 George

8 Oscar

9  James

10 William

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Newborn Smile – must be Love at First Sight

Some babies . . . they smile and make me smile 🙂

Just wanted to brighten up your day a little bit as well!

The session of this baby boy will be soon on the blog. Stay tune

x

newborn-photographer-clapham-battersea-london

Photograface by Valentina | Newborn Photographer Clapham | London

While you are expecting, it is the perfect time to look into newborn photography, so you are prepared and you have the chance to meet and get to know your photographer. Valentina will arrange a free consultation for you and you can see the beautiful range of products and the different options according to your budget. You can learn more about newborn or maternity photography in the links.
Valentina specialises in natural light maternity and newborn photography, creating natural and timeless images of your baby. She is based in Clapham Junction and serves London including Wandsworth, Clapham, Battersea, Putney, Chelsea, Balham, Wimbledon and others. 

 

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What to pack in your hospital bag?

I have been part of the Pure Pregnancy network for the past year. It is a great group of lovely women that with their work support each other and help moms through their pregnancy and the early days of baby’s life.

Through this group I had the pleasure to meet Alexis Goldfinch, founder of the Essential Bag Company, stylish changing bag filled with luxury brands’ gifts. I found the idea pretty interesting and I asked her to  share with my readers a bit about herself, her company and a few tips for packing your hospital bag.

Who is Alexis?

I am a mother of two (Arabella (4) and Henry (3 months) living in Fulham and recently set up The Essential Bag Company, an online company specialising in changing bags and gifts to celebrate the arrival of a new baby. I worked as a lawyer in the City for 7 years and left my job in October 2014 when I was pregnant with Henry to work full time on setting up The Essential Bag Company. The company launched in February 2015.

Why did you start The Essential Bag Company?

The idea was born out of my experience of receiving gifts when Arabella was born and the difficulties I had finding gifts for friends and family who had new babies and, when I worked in the City, gifts for colleagues going on maternity leave. I struggled to find a gift hamper that contained gifts from luxury brands whose quality standards I respected and that I would like to receive myself.

When buying any gift, I like the gift to be useful to the recipient and of high quality. My belief in giving useful gifts helped me to come up with the idea of presenting items in a changing bag. Every new parent needs a changing bag (ideally more than one for variety) so I thought it was a beautiful yet practical way of presenting the gifts.

luxury-mother-to-be-gift-bag

What is special about The Essential Bag Company?

  • All items are presented in a stylish changing bag, a must-have accessory for every new parent.
  • We bring together the finest luxury brands. Our bags are filled with high quality items all from luxury brands that you know and trust, for example, Rachel Riley, Petit Bateau, Charboneel et Walker, Aspinal of London, Crabtree & Evelyn and Burt’s Bee.
  • You can create your own bag by choosing the bag and the contents. This allow you to tailor the bag to the recipient and your budget.
  • The Essential Bag Company has gifts for all the family including gifts for new dads, big brother gifts and big sister gifts.
  • Our gifts are environmentally friendly – the use of a changing bag rather than a wicker basket or box ensures that there is a very little waste.

big-brother-sister-gifts

Can you share your top 5 Tips for packing your hospital bag?

  1. Pack it early (around 34 weeks) to avoid a last minute panic or your partner or someone else having to pack it for you when you’re in labour!
  2. Keep a checklist with the bag so you know what you’ve packed and which last minute items you need to add just before you head to hospital, for example, your phone charger. To find out more about what to pack in your hospital bag, read our article which includes a checklist that you can download.
  3. Store your hospital notes with your bag – after each appointment, put your notes with your hospital bag. They are the single most important item on the list and could easily be forgotten in the rush to hospital.
  4. Pack comfortable clothing– when you leave hospital, your body may still be sore after giving birth. Bring comfortable and loose clothing and nothing that is tight around your stomach, in particular if you have a c-section, the area will be tender.
  5. Remember some treats for yourself! This may be your favourite chocolates or a set of luxury toiletries. Just remember something that will make you feel good!

 

If you need any help  The Essential Bag Company offers a range of pre-packed hospital bags. The hospital bags are stylish changing bags filled with all the essentials for mother and baby for the hospital stay.  We also include our Hospital Bag Checklist in the bag so you can add other items, for example, your hospital notes.

 

Do you have any tips for packing the hospital bag? What would you do differently next time? Did you pack it early or was it a last minute thing?

Please comment below about your experience 🙂

Of course I would say don’t forget your camera!

newborn-family-photographer-clapham-battersea

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Newborn Photography London- a little preview

I’m just back from a little break in Italy where I photographed a sweet boy, 40 days old. And even if he was an older baby it was a pleasure to work with.

A few months ago on my last trip I did the maternity session, capture some photos of the big brother and now here is cute Oscar. Stay tune for more photos coming up soon.

Vale x

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Twins Newborn Photography – sneak peek

Last week I had the pleasure to have twins in my studio. Sometimes it can be challenging dealing with one baby so imagine with 2 🙂 but I actually had some fun with the little pies.

Here below a sneak peek from the session.

Stay tuned for more 🙂

Vale x

newborn-photography-baby-twins-clapham-battersea-london

Photograface by Valentina | Newborn Photography Clapham | London

While you are expecting, it is the perfect time to look into newborn photography, so you are prepared and you have the chance to meet and get to know your photographer. Valentina will arrange a free consultation for you and you can see the beautiful range of products and the different options according to your budget. You can learn more about newborn or maternity photography in the links.
Valentina specialises in natural light maternity and newborn photography, creating natural and timeless images of your baby. She is based in Clapham Junction and serves London including Wandsworth, Clapham, Battersea, Putney, Chelsea, Balham, Wimbledon and others. 

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