Reflection.

Best friends


It's hard to concentrate on the positives when the negatives often tend to take over your life. Sickness bugs, family dramas, a marriage that is on its last legs... But when you stop and really think of all the good times you've experienced over a year, the laughter and smiles, the memories, it's easy to see that the year has been great.


Chilling in Central Park

Dark moments and difficult times aside, I have had a great year. Lil turned one, she took her first trip to my favourite place in the world, New York, we holidayed in Ibiza and danced on the beach, we made new friends and reconnected with old ones, we spent time with family and made lovely memories, I enrolled to start studying at The Open University, Lil started nursery (traumatic for me), I partied hard, we raised over £500 for charity...

Partying as the sun sets

My hopes for the new year are similar to those from last year; to try and be more positive, don't sweat the small stuff, just say yes, be more spontaneous, drink less alcohol, exercise more. With a new year brings new challenges and I'm sure it'll be a hard one (when isn't it?!) but I'm going to smile through it and remember that not only do I have the most wonderful daughter, I have a wonderful family and some amazing friends too, as well as you beautiful lot.

Just bouncing around


Happy New Year, may yours be wonderful and full of happiness and laughter.
xxx

P.S As of tomorrow I'm off the booze, if you'd like to sponsor me you can do so here.

Merry Christmas.

Because I'm feeling quite mentally unhinged at the thought of Christmas (ugh, families / marriage / whiney kids / in laws / weight gain / hangovers etc) and have a mouthful of ulcers, I'm signing off for a week or so.


I'd like to say thank you to everyone who reads this blog and takes an interest in our lives; if it wasn't for you lot I'd have given this up a long time ago.

Happy Christmas, may yours be peaceful and merry. I wish you all a wonderful New Year, too.

Charlotte and Lilian xxx

Be real.

I've always had people telling me they can relate to this blog, whether it's a sweary post about the annoying times a toddler creates, a ranty one about feeling unappreciated by your baby daddy or an open-heart post, where I get all emotional. My blog was always going to be honest, I wear my heart on my sleeve (which is sometimes a problem for others). I do often wonder if I'm too honest at times, I'm not overly private, but there are things I do keep to myself.

I recently found out what my family crest motto is, 'Be real rather than seem'. My father is Scottish and out of curiosity to what our family tartan looks like, I googled our surname. This is how I found the motto I have been living my life by, without even realising. This motto was originally a war cry (sometimes it feels like I'm in the middle of a toy warzone... so it's quite apt!).

Reading other blogs, I'm often surprised at how perfect other people's lives are. Or how perfect they seem. Don't get me wrong, It's lovely to read about happiness and flowers and love, but it's also nice to know I'm not the only one going crazy after a tough week. I'm not the only one who swears, who sometimes feels like walking out. Who googles how long a divorce takes or other ways to battle depression.

What I'm trying to say is... thank you to all of you who read this blog. Thank you for the comments, the kind emails and the lovely tweets. I had a bit of a wobble a few weeks ago and thought about shutting it down but thanks to you lot, I'm going to keep writing about the good and bad times. If only to keep me sane!

Stay real, init xxx

Ps - Don't forget, you can sponsor me to go booze free in January here. Much love.

Bah humbug?

I want to feel festive, I really do. The tree went up on the 1st, I felt nothing. We've seen Santa and the reindeers, nada. Where is my Christmas spirit? WHERE GODDAMIT. It probably hasn't helped that Lil has been sick for the past almost two weeks (vomiting bug and a very bad tummy) but now she's on the mend, I'm trying SO HARD to feel Christmassy.

Stockings waiting to be filled with diamonds and shit

Christmas cocktails at the Momma Loves fundraiser 

Homemade decorations


Homemade Christmas cards from Lil's scribbles (this one looks a bit like a penis)

Reindeer at the local garden centre

Trying to make the house look more festive with fairy lights

My idea of hell: a family santa photo


You can't say I haven't tried! I've sang christmas songs and necked a lot of mulled wine. Help me out over here, what are you doing to get in the festive mood?

P.S Don't forget you can sponsor me to go booze free in January - come on Mama's, you know how hard this is going to be for me... 








January.

I've made it no secret I like a drink. I come from a family of people who like a drink too although I'm not sure that is a positive thing (I am not an alcoholic). But anyway, I digress.

I usually drink when I've had a bad day, when Lil has tested my patience or pushed all the buttons I don't like her to push, it relaxes me. I drink when I socialise too, but this has become less frequent since becoming a mother. Mainly because I really let go, like really, to the point where I stop being able to see. So those nights don't happen often.

January is a month for new beginnings, for diets and detoxes, new promises and fresh hopes. As I've got older, I stopped making New Years resolutions because by day three I'd break them. What I do want to do in the new year is cut down on how much I drink. 2013 is going to be the year I get my arse in to gear and start looking after myself. So as of January 1st, I'm cutting out alcohol for one whole month. And what better way to ensure I stick to this than by signing up to do it for charity.


I know a few (alright, a lot) of you have just spat out your coffee. As if she could go booze free for thirty one days... Well guess what, I can. And you can support me by donating here. 

Cancer is a massive bastard. I've lost people I love to this disease but I also love people who have fought it and won. I have friends who have lost those they love too and if you haven't been affected by cancer, I'm pretty sure you know someone who has.

So for one whole month, I'm laying off the Shiraz. No Champagne Thursdays. No quick swigs from the bottle at 3pm when Lil refuses to nap (I'M JOKING). I'll be swapping wine for water (dull) in the name of Cancer Research UK.

If I do this (and I will), I've worked out I can save over 5000 calories. Bitch gonna be skinny by February.

So say 'fuck you' to cancer and support me. Because I'm going to bloody well need it...

You can sign up to join me and be a part of the Dryathlon here.

Things you don't say to the sleep deprived, delirious mother of a sick child.

You look tired. Just don't. Ever.

You can't protect them from everything. No. But I can fucking well try.

It's not the nursery's fault. Regardless, I need someone to blame.

You should eat something. Mate, I'm full up from all that exhaustion and all I can taste is vomit and shit. I'll eat when I'm ready.

Why don't you have a nap? If I wanted a nap I'd be sleeping right now. I have a shit load of washing to do. No pun intended.

Calm down. Don't.

I'm ill / I feel rough / I think I've got it. Not interested. Try being a little person and being sick or the mother of that sick child who is slowly losing her mind / has a broken heart / hasn't slept for days. Now get out of my face.

Do you want a drink? Yes I want a drink. From the bottle. Fetch.

It will pass. Yes, it will. But right now I feel like it won't. Ever.

Don't give her chocolate cake. Don't ever, EVER say this to the mother of a child who is OBSSESSED with chocolate cake. They can have it even if it only brings five minutes of happiness before they throw it back up again.

Are you still going out tonight? What do you think??

However, these are things you MAY say to the mother...

When your child is well again, I'm taking you out to get drunk.

Here is a diamond ring.

I've cooked, cleaned, washed and ironed for you.

You've lost weight.

You are an amazing mum.

Keep your head.

You're strong and brilliant, even when you don't feel it. Promise. (Thanks, Emma)

Under my breath.


Shrek? Again? For the fifteenth fucking time this week? Ok darling!

Do you think you could not wipe your bloody snotty nose all over Mummy's new sofa? Let Mummy wipe your nose poppet.

Eat your god damn dinner or you can go without. Ok don't worry, Mummy will make you something else for tea.

Hit me one more time and I'll put mustard on your tongue. You mustn't hit Mummy, Lil. It hurts and it makes Mummy sad. Go on, do it again you little brat and I'll stamp on your toys.

Oh dear, you mustn't draw on Mummy's nice new cushion. Let's go and draw in your colouring book. Unless you want me to snap all your crayons in half?

Stop fucking whining. All you do is whine. I have a headache and I'm tired. Shut up whining. Oh darling what's wrong? Are you teething? Let Mummy give you a cuddle.

Daddy will be home in an hour. And then I'm going to get drunk.

Lilian get your head out of the toilet please. Unless you want me to flush you down it...

It's not even 10am and you've made a mess everywhere. I can't handle you today. Shall we put CBeebies on?

Oh Lilian, stop being silly. Not another fucking tantrum. Right, where's the Calpol?

AM I RIGHT?

Procrastination.

pro ∙cras ∙ ti ∙ nate: to defer action; delay. In other words, not do the things you should be doing but instead googling videos of Rihanna and James Arthur and looking for dresses that make you look like a supermodel.

I start my degree in English Literature in February, for those of you who can't keep up. I like to be organised, or at least I used to like being organised back when I was single and without a child. It seems a lot harder these days. Maybe because spontaneity is much more fun (take note, husband), especially with a child in tow (although that is some peoples idea of hell). I'm going to whizz through the reading list so I know what the books are about and can get a feel for the topics I'll be studying. Or that was the plan, anyway.

Now Lil goes to nursery one day a week and spends one day with my grandparents, I have the perfect opportunity to start sorting my shit out and prepping for becoming a student again. That doesn't include planning outfits for freshers week and spending my student loan on crap, I'm studying with the Open University. That's not how things roll over there. So of course yesterday was going to be a perfect day to snuggle under a blanket and start reading. But stuff got in the way...


Texting a friend who also likes to procrastinate...


Food, youtube, googling how to get a flat stomach in a week, texting friends, playing with our new coffee machine, painting my nails, blowdrying my hair... see, I'm already the perfect stereotype. I didn't, however, read the play was I hoping to. I read the prologue and then got bored, it would seem my attention span is not what it was and for that I have CBeebies and co to thank. I can no longer practise self-discipline because I promised myself a slice of cake if I read half of it, instead I just ate the cake.

So now I'm on a mission to find some self-discipline (for my studies and for what I shove down my throat) and start ploughing through this monster of a reading list. But after I've found that dress and had something to eat...




The one where I get sacked off for a boy.

Today was a big day in our house: Lil started nursery. I say nursery, it's actually the childminders (there's three of them) but with a nursery setting. So we'll call it nursery to save confusion. It was also a massive day for my emotions (I'm silently weeping at I type this). Having a baby certainly effs you up and emotions, for me, is the main area in which it all seems to have gone to pot (just ask my husband).


Where did my baby go?


We dropped her off at 8am and off she went, shouting 'BOYS' as soon as she'd spotted one (where she's got this from, I don't know....), pausing briefly to kiss me goodbye. WAS THAT IT? I'd built this day up for the past nineteen months, had anxiety attacks (so much drama), sleepless nights... and she just sacks me off for a boy? What about BRO'S BEFORE HO'S? So I skulked off, trying to not let my husband see my tears ('Just fucking stop talking about it and drive') and that was it. Done.

So now I'm sitting here, cold and miserable, watching the clock with my phone in my hand. Waiting. Waiting for a call to tell me she hates it and simply cannot bear to be apart from me. Begging me not to start this degree because she NEEDS me, everyday.

I've got a feeling I'll be waiting a long time...


Because it's grey outside...

Turn it up loud and DANCE.





Blow (dry) me. Sorry, that was a bit rude...

Finding time for a good blow dry is hard once you've popped a sprog or three out. Until they reach school age, anyway.

So when Jenny of Mothers Meeting invited me to a pamper morning at ENA salon in Holburn, I bit her arm off. It's like she'd read my mind, my hair had started to piss me off to the point where everyday I was scraping it back into a bun. No effort goes hand in hand with no time.

I'd walked past Ena everyday on my way home from work back when I was child free and always wondered if it was as stuck up as it was swanky. It wasn't and it isn't. And the ridiculously good looking staff? All super cool and super down to earth too. As soon as I stepped through the door I knew this was going to be fun...

Lil has a thing for beards too // Helping out

After a tour around the Victorian townhouse and a chat on the salons philosophy, we were sat down and plied with tea whilst our hairdressers worked their magic.



Elfie keeping the other toddlers under control


I felt like a new woman once I was finished with. And I looked like one too...



And it's all thanks to Jenny and the beautiful people at Ena. If you're a Mum and you want to meet other Mum's whilst having a lot of fun, dirty laughs and occasionally, wine... go check out MM. And if you want the best blow dry of your life or a cut and colour from a hot bearded man, then you need to take a trip to Ena.



Motherhood.


Word.

I'M SO TIRED.

I feel like I'm forever moaning on here (probably because I am). Things are still rough...

Late nights (her - I'd happily go to bed at 7pm), teething (still), tantrums, too much energy (her)... I mean, there is only so much tiredness I can take before I drop down dead from sheer exhaustion (you can SO die from tiredness).

A rare moment of peace and quiet


You see, my little darling isn't a big fan of sleep. Or sitting still. She fights both and somehow, sucks all the energy I have (very little) out of me. A bit like when Ursula the sea witch sucks the voice from Ariel in The Little Mermaid. I don't feed her sugar, we keep the TV off, she runs around, we go out, she walks places AND STILL... she insists that 10pm is a reasonable hour for her to feel tired. WHY IS THIS?

I am so tired. Even more tired than I was during the first few weeks of becoming a Mum. Oh yeah, more tired than that. No amount of caffeine can wake me up. As soon as I have some new running shoes, I'm going to try and run this tiredness off (is that even possible? I'm desperate...) and if that doesn't work then maybe I can section myself just to get some rest. Ha, that wasn't even a joke.




Cybrrrrrr Monday at KyNa.

Tomorrow it's Cyber Monday in the land of the internet or Cybrrrrrr as I've renamed it (sorry). It's cold out, innit?!



This and more over at KyNa Boutique.


Pop over to KyNa Boutique in the morrow for fab discounts of up to FORTY PERCENT off. Just in time for Christmas.

It all kicks off at 8am (naturally we would have all been up at 6am) but be sure to check it out beforehand.

Race ya....

The only job which really matters...

This morning I woke up to a big cheesy grin from Lilian. Even so, I found it hard to get up...mainly due to the sheer exhaustion of being a Mother. What did get me going, however, was this...



You can see the full article here.

If the Queen thinks so, then that's good enough for me. 



Today, I give thanks that I am doing the only job which really matters...

Attached.

When I was pregnant, I bought that Super Nanny's book on how to handle your newborn (or whatever it's called). Three pages in, I threw it in a box somewhere in the garage. It wasn't for me. I'm all for a good self-help book but nobody was going to tell me how to handle my baby, voluntarily or otherwise. Anyway, it was supposed to come naturally.

It did, all bar a few things but those things I figured out thanks to my Mum and Nan and, of course, Twitter.

So I just got on with it, trusted my gut and did what I thought was right. I really, truly believe there is no wrong way and any decision any Mother makes I know is based on what she believes. Everyone has their different ways and methods and I respect those.

I'd heard of attachment parenting but never looked it up, like most fads and phases I hear about. It wasn't until a comment on Twitter about these methods popped up that I decided to investigate and was surprised to find that I'd been practising (some of) it since day one. I was amazed at how much I agreed with the theories and practices and was pleased that I'd found my way on my own but had been running alongside some of these methods.

When I googled it, this is the first site I came across. A lot of it I agree with, some of it is a bit (in the words of my Nan) wishy washy.

I won't go in to detail about my ways of parenting Lil because I'm not preaching. But this is our sleeping arrangement: Lil still sleeps in my room, for many reasons. My first two reasons are completely selfish: because I want to have her near and because when she's teething (97% of the time), she wakes quite a lot in the night and to get up and walk across the hall to soothe her is a pain. And I do soothe her, sometimes I wish maybe I'd read about self-soothing and put it in to practice but I didn't and I'm sticking to what I know and feel is right for her. Most of the time she sleeps in her cot but when she's sick or having a bad night due to teething then it's 'Mummy bed' and in she comes.

Growing up, I shared a bed with my Mum for a while. My parents split when I was eighteen months old and we moved in to my Nan's. I had my own room but for me it was just to play in. My Mum's bed is where I felt safe and comforted and I think this is another reason why I'm happy to have Lil in the room with me.

To be honest, I'd let her share my room with me until she left home but we all know that won't happen. BFF's, YEAH! Hmm, maybe not.

I do want to move her in to her own room, I dread it but I know she'll love it. After a while. It's something we've been talking about and finally, planning (baby steps for me). I'm hoping it's a smooth and gentle transition for her (obviously I'll need a lot of self-soothing in the form of wine) and one that can be done before Christmas. Ambitious? You tell me.

Do you practice attached parenting? Do you let your child self-soothe? How old were they when you moved them in to their own room? Am I crazy?

I'm definitely attached.


Champagne Thursday!

I'm not quite sure where I got this from, a film I think. Probably one of those crappy chick flicks but hey, it's a bloody good idea.




I'm trying to cut down on booze so I guess Champagne Thursday is like a weekly treat (as well as the odd glass once or twice if things are tough). I'd like to think I'll continue this weekly tradition well in to old age, along with wearing jewels indoors and popping to the hairdressers for my weekly blow dry.

I've made up some rules, just in case any of you MILFS want to join in...

1. You can only do this on a Thursday, for obvious reasons.
2. You can only drink champagne / cava / asti / fizzy wine. It doesn't have to be champagne, it just has to be bubbly. Red wine doesn't count, neither does flat white wine.

So there you go. How bloody straight forward is that? Feel free to post your Champagne Thursday pictures, the glamourous the better. Christ knows as Mother's we don't get to go out all dolled up as much as we used to. So lets do it on a Thursday. But stay in and do it.

Cheers!

Little E and Bean


Here is a new sponsor for this month in the form of Steph. She's a Mum and a teacher and currently pregnant with baby number two. She also writes Little E And Bean. E (number one) is super cute with the biggest grin and cheekiest smile, I can't wait to see if Bean is as cheeky.

This is what Steph had to say about being a Mum...


WHAT DID YOUR LIFE CONSIST OF BEFORE YOU BECAME A MAMA?

A lot of sleep. Seriously, so much sleep.
I studied for as long as possible before deciding I should probably get a job and ‘falling into’ the one profession I swore I’d never do: teaching. It turns out I love it, which is fortunate because it’s all consuming. Before having Little E I worked stupidly long hours and stayed out far too late at the weekends, it was a lot of fun.

HOW HAS BECOMING A MOTHER MADE YOU A BETTER PERSON?

I need less from life. Before becoming a mum I was always anxious for more; holidays, clothes, make up, a night out.  I still want all these things but they’re not such nagging desires, they can all wait. Little E has calmed and completed me. I guess it’s that old cliché of motherhood-induced contentment; I just don’t need as much to make me a happy person. Although, a bit more sleep wouldn’t go amiss.

ASIDE FROM CONCEALER, WHAT CANT YOU LIVE WITHOUT NOW YOU HAVE A CHILD?

My husband, he’s my very patient rock. Deep breathing techniques I learnt during pregnancy for those epic tantrums. The internet for the clarity, perspective and friendship it brings during those lonely moments of motherhood.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A FIRST TIME MUM?

Give yourself a break. There is so much pressure to get it right from day one; from the routine, to the feeding, to the sleeping pattern, to the childcare. Don’t be scared to make mistakes. Time is so easily wasted through fear and anxiety about making perfect decisions and all the while your little one will be growing right in front of your eyes. Just enjoy the moment.
Also, that saying: “comparison is the thief of joy” is so true. What is right for someone else’s baby or family won’t necessarily be right for you. Take advice and read around but ultimately trust your instincts: you know your baby.

HOW HAS YOUR WARDROBE CHANGED SINCE HAVING A BABY?

I have no idea where my heels are. All my clothes are covered in something disgusting within an hour of putting them on.

CAKE OR BISCUITS?

2 of each, please.

WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU?

People who have time for others. Life is so frenetic and detached that it’s hard to establish genuine connections. When I meet a mum or a dad who wants to listen and connect with others (rather than use them as a sounding board), I’m inspired.
Also, anyone who finds the time to brush their hair before going to work.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SECRETS OR TIPS TO MAKING MOTHERHOOD THAT BIT EASIER?

Stop thinking five steps ahead and enjoy the moment.
Take baby wipes everywhere. I’m talking from experience here – I had to fashion a scarf into a baby wipe today. Bad times.
Remember this is all temporary, the good and the bad of parenting, it will all pass.


Steph is on Twitter.




Lil, the bookworm.

Yes, she get's it from her Mother, I have never seen her father read a book (newspapers do not count, Tim). I started reading to her at a very early age and I'd like to think this is partly why she loves stories and books so much.



As a baby, board books with animals on were her favourite. Now, it's still books with bright illustrations but I've noticed the more 'sing-song' the story, the more she's in to it.

Here are a few of my her favourites right now...

Jack and the flumflum tree - her favouritest, bestest of all time (so far). Jack's granny get's the moozles so it's up to him and his crew to find the cure on the crazy Island of Blowyernose. A lovely book to read as a parent. I've read it that many times I know most of it off by heart...




Pantone: Colours - Not a story book but she likes to name the colours and objects and this is a great book for arty/creative Mums.

Each Peach Pear Plum - A classic, I had this as a child. Full of the traditional nursery rhyme characters and a lovely sing-song book. This was given to Lil by Theo and Abi and has been one of her favourites ever since.

The Gruffalo's Child - Another book we often read at bedtime (although not as often as the flum flum one). Again, a great story that rhymes. Lil enjoys the sing-songness of it.

Monster Day at Work - Lil always asks where Daddy is on a weekday morning and answers her own question with 'Daddy work' which is when she brings this book out. A lovely book with great illustrations by the super talented Sarah Dyer.

Happy reading, toddlers!

P.S One for the Mama's - if you've read Buddhism for Mother's - A Calm Approach To Caring For Yourself And Your Children, I highly recommended Sarah Napthali's second book. Her books help me through the tough times and have inspired me to become a calmer person. Believe or not, I meditate daily (much to my husbands amusement). If you haven't read her first book, go buy it. You won't be disappointed.

Books.

I've always been 'bookish'. I was above the top group in reading at primary school (not boasting) and I got told off quite a lot for finishing the book just as we were starting it in English class at Secondary school. I always had so much to say and nobody else other than the teacher knew what I was on about as the others had only just started reading whatever book we were on. I found it hard to be interested in any other subject at school (apart from boys) if it wasn't English Literature.

Words have been my thing for as long as I can remember. Writing and reading. I'd pick out inspirational quotes from books I'd read and write them down on post it notes. I got the piss taken out of me for this from supposed friends during years eight and nine, so I stopped being inspired, stopped eating and started gobbing off to teachers (because books weren't cool, the rest was).

Luckily, I ditched those friends and carried on reading once I'd left school. It's better to read than be 'cool', and anyway... reading is what makes you cool. I'm pretty sure that makes me WAY cooler than some of the losers I used to hang around with.

But I digress.

I didn't bother with university. It wasn't for me. Instead, I carved out my career in the creative industry. I still read books but instead of words, images were now my thing. The industry I worked in had no place for words. Eight years later, I left that all behind to have a baby. I tried to get back in to books but as any mother knows, it's hard to read with a newborn/baby/toddler and when there are a shit ton of other more important things to do like wash/eat/clean.

And now, here I am. About to embark to an amazing journey full of books and words and writing. In February, I start a degree in English Literature. Just this morning, while I was reading Jack and The Flum Flum Tree to Lil for the seventh time, I had a 'WHAT THE FUCK' moment. What the hell am I doing? Going to university at the age of twenty seven with a nineteen month old? Sometimes I don't even have time to breathe, let alone read and write. How am I going to cope? It passed, of course. But this morning it became real. I'm going back to school!

This time, however, I'll be surrounded by people who love books and words and writing. And those people, like me, will be cool.

Whitstable.
















On Booze.

No, not the F Scott Fitzgerald book (that I'm about to read). Me, on booze.

This post was going to start off all 'I'm giving up booze' after four days of drunken, hungover, unacceptable behaviour on my part. Let's just say it's a surprise my liver isn't pickled and I'm not lying in the morgue.

Anyway, I was going to stop with the drinking. Maybe for a month, hopefully forever because we never seem to get on, booze and I. I'm not an alcoholic nor do I have alcoholic tendencies (for those of you who were about to call Social Services). I just like a glass of wine after a rough day (oh god, that doesn't paint me in the best picture does it?). Rephrase: I sometimes like a glass of wine with dinner. Yes, I sometimes binge drink if I go out (read: hardly ever) but that is a once every few months thing. Otherwise, I'm pretty tame. Ok, I'll stop. Put the phone down.




What I'm trying to say is, it's hard for a mother to swear off alcohol. In my opinion and experience. Had a shit day full of tantrums? Ah, let me pour myself a glass. Baby sick? Had a rough day? Open the bottle and pour me one... And while some of you may deny it, I've seen a lot of photo's Instagrammed: a bath and a glass of wine, chocolate and a glass of wine (you know who you are!), a bottle of wine (guilty), wine with dinner.




I've realised that while I probably could live without alcohol and that it isn't a necessity (who am I kidding?), I need to better my relationship with it. I'm not eighteen anymore, binge drinking isn't fun neither is it clever when you have a child to look after the next day. I can't drink friends under the table anymore, or even handle my drink for that matter. And how, at twenty something (ahem), have I still not learnt that no food + booze is just a disaster.

I had a double shot of espresso today and as I write this I'm all jittery and bouncing off the walls. If I can't handle Cafe Nero, it's definitely time to slow it down with the Shiraz.


LATTEMAMA BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY - CLOSED

So you all know LatteMama, right? Well on Wednesday they turn ONE so have teamed up with this fab online kids store to bring you a great winter birthday giveaway. Now that the cold is finally starting to set in, what better way to wrap up your bundle of joy in a cosy snowsuit...




Want to win this cute and comfy Mini Rodini snowsuit? 

Product Information: Padded puffy winter jacket in strong heavy-duty material. Shell fabric is water resistant with 2500 mm water colummns. Zip with zip protection placket and faux leather puller. Normal set in sleeve. Yoke at front and back in faux leather. Collar with rib inside and hoodstand garage to easily hide hoodstand when hood is removed. Hood covered in faux leather with two seams for nice fit. Two patch pockets with press button at front. Elastic rib at cuff. Padded inside with poly satin lining. Faux leather patch with panda imprint at front. Composition: Shell: 100% polyester Lining: 100% polyester. Retails at 79 Pounds.

Available in size:
68/74 (6-12 months)
80/86 (1-2 years)
92/98 (2-3 years)

Enter here:




Good Luck and HAPPY BIRTHDAY LATTEMAMA!

November, NOVEMBER!

It's November. My favourite month. My best.

There's bonfire night, my birthday and the run up to the party season. We are now in the depths of Autumn and it's such a wonderful feeling. I can't say I've been the loveliest person to be around over the past few months (I'm sure my husband would agree) but I woke up this morning tired and SMILING. A rarity (just ask Lil).

I feel positive and happy after a crap few weeks (and it's not just because in a week today I expect a ton of gifts - ahem, Tim) but because it's cold and our cheeks are rosy and I can share this amazing season with my daughter (last year she wasn't interested, little bore).

So here's to November, the cold, fireworks and my birthday. To friendships, love, happiness, gifts (shallow but... we all deserve some luxuries), smiles, adventures and then...Christmas.



Happy November everyone xxx

For the men in your life (but really for you).

Christmas time is fast approaching (yesssssssssss) and if your husband/boyfriend/dad/brother is as useless as buying gifts and mine are (minus the boyfriend), they'll need some help.

So, ladies, I'd like to introduce you to... AskHerFriends. 

AskHerFriends is brand new, online gift-giving experience that helps guys finally get it right with gifts for their special ladies, AskHerFriends uses social media to rally together those who know her best and turns them into his own personal team of advisers. It’s simple –he signs up, chooses from a wide variety of gifts and experiences on offer and puts them onto his Advice List, which is then sent via e-mail or Facebook to her friends. They can then rate and comment on his choices, thereby deciding which of them she will love the most. He has the confidence that she’ll love what he has chosen and she’s delighted with her new gift. Genius, non?

Here is what founder, Ben says:

“I started asking my girlfriend’s mum and friends for their advice, and they were really helpful. Then speaking to my mates I came to realise that I wasn’t the only one getting it wrong in the gifting department. So I decided to bring all that together with AskHerFriends.com, and make the whole gifting process as easy and hassle-free for blokes as possible. Because when you do surprise your partner with the perfect gift, it’s the best feeling!” 

With gifts from brands such as Quill London, My Wardrobe and Liberty as well as smaller, independent labels, the guys really cannot get it wrong.

Stool - Dark Room, London, Christian Lacroix Notebook - Quill London, Star Bangle - Rock My Vintage

So if you think know they need help picking you the perfect gift, direct them to AskHerFriends. There is also a helpful blog to inspire them, a 'What's Hot' list to give them an idea as well as an 'Idea Map'.

And tell him from me, HAPPY SHOPPING!

AskHerFriends is on Facebook and Twitter.