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Monkey Chitter Chatter - Christmas!

Life is hectic at this time of year so I'll keep this short and sweet and offer you my Christmas Holiday trouble shooting ideas!

Plan, plan, plan!

You know that your regular routine is going to be disrupted by going away, visitors, play dates, parties, late nights, etc.

Make a schedule and stick to it the best you can, so that you don’t suddenly find yourself without time to do the day to day things, i.e shopping, laundry, tidying, cooking etc., however boring they may be, they still need doing! When you don’t allow time for this catch up, cooking yourself healthy food and making time for self-care will be the first things to go. Fact!

Schedule in time for you, such as, on the day that you do some batch cooking, afterwards wrap up warm, go for a walk and clear your head or follow a workout session on YouTube, ( I love Lucy Wyndham-Read), have a relaxing bath or get cosy with a magazine and a cup of tea made in your favourite mug. Do whatever restores you. You may have spent the morning prepping but at least you know that you’ve got dinner prepared and extra for the freezer.

Try to keep to regular eating times to avoid grumpy children and to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. Include protein, plenty of fibre and wholegrain carbs for slow released energy. You will feel a lot more calm and in control if you can eat mindfully i.e. being present whilst you eat by sitting at the table, rather than wolfing something down on the go.

Take 5 minutes in the day to do a bit of restorative deep breathing and stretching.

Stay well hydrated with plenty of water and herbal teas.


When you start to feel overwhelmed, glance at your schedule and remind yourself that you have everything under control.

If it all goes a bit pear shaped (it always does, that’s the joy of Christmas!) don’t beat yourself up, just get back on track when you can.

Avoid compare and despair on social media. Others may look like they are in complete control and have plenty of time to make their meals, children, themselves, their decorations and presents beautiful and picture perfect by posting enviable photo candy. Remember these are just snap shots of what seems to be perfection, they are not the whole story. In reality they have probably just had an almighty shouting match with the kids/spouse, there have been tears of frustration, the meal is cold from all of the food styling and they've been nagging like an old fish wife.... (this is what I like to tell myself anyway!!)

It’s lovely to have visitors to stay and have your children around 24/7 (!) over the holidays, but dramas and conflict can happen with our nearest and dearest. When conflict strikes then take a step back, look at the bigger picture. Pick your battles. You don’t get to see everyone everyday, the children don’t get this freedom all of the time. Rather than letting things get on top of you, live in the moment. Respond to the drama with love until the situation diffuses. Don’t be so precious that you miss out on all of the small moments of fun that the kids are having. Cherish it.

Value what is happening around you and live in the moment so that you can enjoy the people, places and events that are happening in your life right now.

We love eating blinis in our family to get us in the festive spirit. My recipe for gluten, egg and dairy free blinis is so versatile, swap the topping for tomato salsa for a vegan option.

Smoked Salmon Blinis

70g gluten free oats

30g brown rice flour

150g buckwheat flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

300ml unsweetened almond milk (if the batter seems to thick add a little more)

1 tsp cider vinegar

50ml olive oil

2 tsp runny honey (optional)


Oatly creme fraiche

Fresh horse radish, grated.

Smoked salmon

Dill or caviar

Mix together the milk and vinegar. Set aside. Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.

Add the olive oil and honey to the milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently stir to combine. Let it rest for a couple of mins before using.

Heat up a frying pan. Add a little unflavoured coconut oil. Spoon small discs of the batter into the hot pan. When air bubbles appear flip over and cook the other side. This only takes about 2 or 3 mins on each side.

Mix the Oatly and enough horseradish together to taste. Dollop onto the cooked pancake, add the salmon and a little of the caviar. Eat!

The batter mix is great for American style pancakes too, just make bigger discs!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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