Effin back molars.

I appear to be slowly suffocating under a blanket of exhaustion, uni work and tantrums at the moment. Which means I don't have much to say other than when the fuck will these back molars cut so the blanket of foggy bullshit rises and I get my toddler and my life back?

Since the middle of last week I knew something was up with this kid. She'd gone from being delightful to a devil and just wasn't having anything other than her own way. And then it clicked. We were four teeth away from a complete set, it had to be the bastard teeth. The epic three hour nap she took yesterday and not so epic three hours of sleep I got last night confirmed that. And then there's the streaming cold...

If this is the return of nap time then I owe the toddler nap gods, big time.

It's exhausting, isn't it? Just taking care of someone other than yourself is mental work but when that someone is a raging, snot encrusted two year old who only wants to play in the Disney store or watch Wiley videos (don't ask)... it's exhausting. Newborn exhausting. Last week I was going to bed at 9pm. That hasn't happened since I was pregnant with her.

She might be miserable but she's still making me LOL. 

I'm doing the Calpol / Nurofen thing and trying to distract her with anything I can think of... cake making, play doh (I even let her mix the colours up, now that was painful), stickering, drawing on herself (yook, tattoo mummy!), letting her destroy the house etc etc. 

When she's finished teething, we're going to have a party. A massive rave in the Disney store. Effin teeth.

Cookie (and biscuit) monster.

I luuuuuuva de cookies. So does Lil. Sometimes (you will want to vomit at this confession), I will sit and eat 5 cookies. Five big cookies from Sainbo's bakery. Yep.

Tesco's cookies are lame, Morrisons are thicks and soft, Asda's are too chewy and Sainsbo's are perfection. Double chocolate chip are my favourite. Oh yeah. And as for Lil, well.... she eats cookies too (if I leave her any). She favours white chocolate chip but will eat any. So when I found out a friend had jacked her job in to bake, kerching! We'd hit the jackpot. My arse recoiled but OH MAN, I'd just have to work harder at the gym.

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you.... Cookie&Biscuit. American cookies made with fresh British ingredients.

And here is the lady behind the amazing cookies and biscuits (yeah, they're amazing... I've tried them... they beat Sainsbo's hands down). Mama to the beautiful FJ and former NY girl, Danae gives us the down low on Motherhood.

NAME  Danae Dade    
OCCUPATION   Owner of cookie&biscuit, mum, family manager



Lazy days on the couch, shopping, eating out,  late nights on the dance floor and trying to score passes for NY Fashion week.


Having Frankie Jean has made me more patient, and has elevated my multi tasking skills to super hero levels.


Try to sleep when you can, and make sure you have time for yourself. 2 things I didn’t really do until months after baby was born and I was near a breakdown. A nap and a manicure will do wonders.


It took me a while to lose baby weight so I have a bit more leggings and stretched out cotton basics than I would like to admit. But I am actively working on wearing real clothes again these days.


I love all sweets, but I’m a bit biased so cookies&biscuits!!


Cliché, but my mom has sacrificed her whole adult life to my brothers and I .  She raised us all by herself, with very little money but a lot of heart and I only pray I can do even a fraction of the same for FJ.


Running has helped keep my nagging hormones at bay, its amazing what a trot around the block will do for your brain (and waistline) Cheapest therapy out there. Also, playdates and meeting other mums- there are so many groups here in London, (Mothersmeeting, London Mothers Club, Clapham Mums etc). oh and of course WINE.

Cookie&Biscuit are on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.

The E word.

Lil has eczema.

Ok, so it isn't as bad as it could be and for that I am grateful. But there is still time for it to get worse. Yes it's common in children under five and can affect 1 in 10 (I've done my research) and... oh god, the anxiety. The doctor waved us off with a giant tub of Epaderm and told me not to worry. Do you know who you're speaking to, Doctor?

After talking to my Mother-in-law, I learnt that Tim also had eczema as a child (I did too) and unfortunately, his asthma could be result of that (but more likely it definitely is) for they are linked. She told me the story of how the doctor gave her lotions and potions to try on him and that she did. Unaware that the creams were pushing the eczema inside his body, she continued doing what she was told was right. After lots of research she learnt this is possibly the reason why he has asthma (but this is just an individual case, all cases of eczema vary as do treatments for each) So, she said, ditch the crap the doctor gave you and read up about alternative therapies. So I did, for hours.

First of all, I bought the Ecover laundry liquids we'd previously used, in bulk. I'd gotten lazy with this and after it had run out, just bought non bio and fabric softener from the supermarket. Then I ordered some balm to use instead of the Epaderm. I switched the shampoo and body wash to this and ordered a sun cream that was recommended by dermatologists for children with eczema. Phew. And then, as recommended by this FAB website, I ordered some pro-biotics that were also recommended to me by a Mum when Lil was suffering from a bad stomach (thanks Leonie). I've also started to think about making a switch to entirely organic clothing. Lil has a few pieces already and as time goes on I'll add to those, I won't go crazy and chuck out her existing wardrobe (for now!) because it's organic clothing isn't the cheapest but it's definitely made me think more about what she wears after reading about the chemicals in clothing and also an article on how organic clothing can help eczema (thanks to the amazing Jenny at KyNa Boutique). So after spending a lot of time reading up on how to control the eczema, it's now time to put these products to the test.

(What I'd also noticed was, when we were away in Derbyshire Lil's eczema had completely vanished. And within days of being home, it had returned and got considerably worse. I'm now having spaz attacks about what it could be... the smoggy southern air? The dog? The awful thick carpets in our rented house that I have to hoover almost every day? Her picking up on my stress, thus stressing her out?)

It's only been a few days so I can't really comment but I'll keep you posted. I'm not an expert on eczema and my decision to use a balm instead of Epaderm is entirely my own. I'm not in any way saying that it's wrong to use any types of cream on eczema for I'm not a dermatologist - this is just something I'm trying out to see if I can control and hopefully cure Lilian's eczema. Just a little disclaimer, innit.

When your mate does a book.

I have a friend, let's call her Aimee. She's short, like me, and extremely funny (like me, RIGHT?). We have a lot in common (booze, annoying kids, love of crisps and cake and sausage sandwiches) and do you know what? We haven't even met in person yet. Now if she were a man, that would probably be wrong on so many levels. But I love her and she makes me laugh a lot. We are like SOUL SISTAS.

So, this Aimee... she did a book. A novella, if you will. She's good at writing and stuff, really good. When she told me she was doing a book I got excited because I knew it would be funny. And then she sent it to me and I was like...... OH.

OH YEAH. And I related to it all and it made me snort in places and actual snot flew out of my nose on to my laptop. Yep, that's how funny it was. Because, like I said, she's funny. And not many people make me laugh these days, I blame old age and cynicism (I get that from my parents).

Her book, 'Survival of the Ginnest' (see what she did there?) is about Dottie Harris. Before she had kids she lived the indulgent life we all once led before we sprogged. And then she had kids and she had gin. The book follows her journey from childless to marble-less (totally a word) through Facebook updates. And I feel like a massive div for telling you this but at times I actually went to press 'Like'. See, div.

You can buy her book over at Amazon for your Kindle or i-Pad thingy that you read off of or any other tablet that substitutes books these days (PAPER BOOKS FO' LIFE, YO - although I do read stuff on my iphone so that makes me.... a hypocrite?)

Go take a look, have a read. Be a div and try and press 'Like'. You'll laugh, thats fo' sho'.

You can see what Aimee is up to (when she isn't ginning it or texting me pictures of sausage sandwiches) here.

P.S She didn't pay me to write this. I don't take bribes. Not even booze bribes.

A perfect time.

The week before last I thought I was going to have a mental breakdown. That isn't an exaggeration, it's a fact. Lil's illness almost pushed me over the edge and I think I was pretty close anyway. That bastard black hole opened up again and I felt I was losing control.Anyway, It was perfect timing then that we had a break planned and it was pretty lucky that Lil had recovered by then.

So we effed off to the countryside for a week, Barlow in Derbyshire to be exact. And sweet Jesus was it a welcome relief.

Our Neigh-bour. Sorry.

Our back garden.

Sarah and duck QUACK - Lil is PETRIFIED of ducks

This kid got her appetite BACK

Excited about her first time on a steam train. Lasted three minutes.

We had such a lovely time, I haven't seen Lil as happy as she was this past week. And I haven't felt as happy as I was on this trip, not in a long time. Instant relief washed over me as soon as we arrived and I felt as though I was a million miles away from any drama or negativity. And I didn't feel anxious, not once. Ok that's a lie. But my only anxiety was about the massive fucking spiders I kept seeing in the cottage. Other than that though, I had a perfect time in my perfect place. And now I'm not there anymore? I can feel my heart pounding inside my chest and a huge sense of dread. So now what? Well, I guess you should watch this space...

And then she was TWO.

And what a shitty time to turn two. Like her first birthday, she was sick and I almost lost my mind. Almost.

Trying to distract her from the 'sick whine'

Instead of taking a shit load of photos, I drank a shit load of wine and prayed for my best girl to get better. Better luck next time, Lil.

Through a different lens.

When your favourite photographer takes your daughter's picture in your favourite city, you feel blessed. Very blessed. Thank you Andrea, from the bottom of my heart.


All images: Flannery o'kafka

Be back soon.

This viral infection of Lil's has broken me, well and truly. I need to get her better and then work on fixing myself so we're going to take some time out until all is well again. Don't worry, we'll be back soon.

In the meantime, go take a look at Flannery O'kafka and see a few snaps from our trip. We got them all back today and my heart almost burst out of my chest. God she's good. So good.

Laters xoxo

The night before Two.


Here we are, one year later. Hours after writing a letter to you on the eve of your first birthday, you became very poorly with gastroenteritis. We had to cancel your party and spent the next few days in a vomit drenched haze. And now here I am again, the day before your birthday and we've had to cancel your 2nd birthday party too. You have a nasty viral infection and my heart is broken once more. You little monkey, you certainly know how make me worry. I've had my heart in my mouth since day one.

In a way, not a lot has changed in the past year. Other than you and the fact that I am now more neurotic and anxious than I ever thought I could be. I love you more but then that isn't hard. Even when you kick me in my C-section scar (it still hurts sometimes) to remind me who's boss, I find it hard to stay mad (but that shit hurts so stop it). We still have the most amazing fun but you can speak a whole lot more now. I still watch you sleep, share my bed with you, sing to you...

Mental hair, don't care.

I've learnt a lot from you. You've taught me to curb my swearing (boy what a lesson to learn), to be more compassionate and forgiving (although I'm still struggling a bit with this one), that everything takes lots of hard work and that negativity is not something we want in our lives. I'm studying for a degree for you. I palmed it off as being for me but let's face it, that's bullshit. I want you to be proud of yo' Mama and even if it takes 12 years to complete, I ain't gonna quit. I want you to feel the proudness I feel of my Mum and I'll do anything I can to make you happy (yep, even stand in the Disney Store for an hour while you dance to the music).

The most important thing you've taught me, though, is that time will not stand still. Every second I'm with you, I soak you up. You consume me, every single part of me. I don't want to miss a moment because you are so special and you fill my life with a joy I never knew existed. I love that you keep me sane yet drive me up the wall. You are the reason I don't just exist, I live. And I love you to infinity.

Happy second birthday, beautiful girl, You're amazing xxxxx

Pleasing others.

I've always been a people pleaser, even as a child. I don't like upsetting others and because of this I've often found myself in the middle of dramas, trying to defuse the situation.

As I have a large family and because my parents divorced when I was a toddler, Christmases have been difficult. Well as a kid, anyway. My Mum and Dad both wanted to spend Christmas day with me but it was impossible and someone was always going to be upset. Disappointed. Christ knows how many times I've heard that word...

I still find myself trying to please everyone and this became even more apparent when Lil's first birthday was approaching. Everyone wanted to spend the day with her, my family and her Dad's family. It didn't matter that she was our daughter and that maybe we wanted to spend the day as just the three of us. Spending the day with both families would be a nightmare and I'm speaking from experience! I don't want her birthday to be a stressful day. But I totally got why they wanted in on it, she's pretty amazing. The same goes for Christmas, we are always going to upset someone. Always. But now I realise, I have a child and all that matters is her happiness.

Poorly bubs - get better! I want my little joker back.

Cancelling her second birthday party (she's unwell) has caused tension and no doubt has sent my blood pressure through the roof. It was going to be two hours of both families together. I won't lie and say I was looking forward to it but we were doing it for her. Anyway. People are disappointed. I'm upset that she'll be sick on her second birthday because her 1st birthday was a bit of a disaster too. It can't be helped she isn't sick on purpose. She's a toddler and she'll pick up any bug going. And do you know what? I don't care who it disappoints. I don't care that in the future, someone will be disappointed with the decisions we make. I don't care because I have my own little family now and they are all that matters. As long as my daughter has a smile on her face, nothing else matters. I'm going to stop being a people pleaser and ensure that I please my family. Because they're the important ones.

The things you do.

Handing me a towel when I've finished in the shower - 'here you go Mummy' to which I reply 'thanks baby', except now you mock me so it goes 'here you go mummy, thanks baby'. Monster.

'Love you Lil... Lil.... love you... LIL, LOVE YOU'
You roll your eyes... 'Luh you too' you don't mean it. You say it to shut me up and that makes me smile.

'Pay your money...' - I've let you watch Pearl the Landlord too many times. Let's hope nobody calls Social Services on me. Ah what they hey, all in the name of laughter. If there is only one thing I teach you it's fuck the haters, Lil.

You mix the Play Doh up and it really irritates me. I should probably see someone about that... OCD in overdrive. And the glitter, oh the glitter. Craft time brings me out in a rash, I hate the mess that goes with it. But you have so much fun so I'm working on letting go.

'Mummy tuddle' when you're tired or unwell. Your patronising, but sweet, pat on my back.

You watch me put my make up on and demand your go. But you're beautiful Lilian, you won't ever need make up. Mummy only wears it to hide her tired eyes.

When we go to Yo! Sushi for dinner, you gorge on sticky rice and 'pwarns'. There is nothing more amazing that watching you enjoy your food, a rarity at the moment. Fill your boots, wonderful child.

'Morning Dave'. Dave the zebra, the best purchase I made. You're good friends except for when you're grumpy and then you throw things at him. Poor Dave.

I love you.

Little Wolff

It's lovely to know that people on the other side of the world read this blog, it really makes me smile. So when Lila got in contact, I was so happy - a reader from Australia, a part of the world I wish I could disappear to, marvellous!

Lila is a study at home Mama (Architecture) with three children (wow - amazing) aged 20 months, 13 and 17 years who, with her husband, is renovating their run down house with their own hands (wow, wow, wow - super Mama!), Her blog, Little Wolff, is about art, motherhood, renovation, gratitude and occasionally she rants about the things that get under her skin. It's such a lovely blog and it's interesting to read how other mothers across the globe do things.

I asked Lila a few questions and she gave me some pretty good answers but you can read all about her little pack and more here.

NAME    Lila Wolff

OCCUPATION Architecture Undergrad / Mama


I first became a mama at 17 so school and a lot of stupid teenage stuff like moving 330 kilometres with only a backpack full of stuff, getting pregnant and moving back home.

It definitely made me stop and think before doing things; I also feel that being a mother at different ages has taught me different lessons.  I’ve written about what I’ve learnt so far here for anyone interested.

The love and support of good friends, if I didn’t have the sympathetic ear of my best friend there are times where the exhaustion and stress of being a mama would have been too much to bear. It’s so important not to let motherhood isolate us.

Follow your instincts – if you have them, it’s okay if you don’t, this whole parenting thing is not natural for everyone. If you’re not sure what to do seek out people who you know have raised good people and ask for their advice. It isn’t weak to need or ask for help. 

It’s a lot more haphazard and a lot less expensive! I keep hoping I’ll manage to look put together again one day but for now there are other priorities like our renovation. Unless of course the fashion fairy comes along to sort me out sooner, I can dream right?

Yes Please! I’m really not fussy when it comes to eating cake or biscuits I like both a LOT.

My husband, who completed his law degree in three years and became one of the country’s youngest lawyers at 22, and has won his first Supreme Court case in the beginning of his second year of practice.
Dame Zaha Hadid, her architecture and achievements give me hope for my future career.
People who are living what they love, or at least trying to.

When that why phase is driving you nuts (and unless you’re a saint it will) try to go with it and use it as the jumping off point to teach your children to think critically. It might not seem like it but if you teach them to think this way you will have a much easier time when they are teenagers because they won’t let others do their thinking for them.
Don’t sacrifice yourself. It doesn’t do you or your children any favours if you always put yourself last.  If you don’t give yourself space and time for you as a person you’ll end up burnt out and sad and possibly worse you’ll set the example for your children to undervalue their own needs when they grow up. If you devote some time to yourself you can recharge which makes it easier to parent.

Lila is on Twitter