Top Bananas! The best family recipes ever

At last. It may have taken two years but Mumsnet has finally compiled a cookbook featuring Mumsnetter’s best recipes, which means no more bookmarking pages from the website and balancing my laptop precariously next to the kitchen sink while attempting to recreate the concoctions. The compendium of wise is called Top Bananas! and features the tried and tested recipes of more than 300 mums with dishes ranging from basic Broccoli Balls to Luscious Lamb Shanks. As well as speedy suppers you can create while simultaneously emptying the washing machine and doing general mum things, there’s proper meals for the grown-ups even Misery Guts is game to try. My favourite bit is the chapter devoted to unashamedly unhealthy but rite-of-passage party treats such as Ice Cream Cone Cakes and Party Toffee Popcorn, which will surely send the anti-sugar brigade into overdrive. I can’t actually remember the last time I saw such naughty recipes in a family cookbook – probably my mum’s good old 1980s Jane Asher party cakes book. […]

By |May 30th, 2014|Books, Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews, Weaning|0 Comments

Rushing about with class bears and cameras: we’re all at it

We’re back. A week of lounging, swimming, eating and sleeping in Portugal (Timmy the class bear included, pictured) has done the trick: Misery Guts is (temporarily) less miserable, I’m (temporarily) less tired and BB is bursting with memories of ice cream licking and swimming pool splashing. The addition of Timmy to our party has certainly caused a stir among Mumsnetters. After my last post about class teddy bears having a lot to answer for – and letting the side down in spite of myself by taking the damn thing on holiday to snap in various enviable locations – featured as Mumsnet’s blog of the day, the Twitterati went mad. It seems we’re all at it – rushing around with kids, class mascots and cameras in tow in a bid to illustrate action-packed accounts of the bear’s stay at our house at a day’s notice. It’s like having homework all over again. Needless to say I haven’t actually written up Timmy’s diary entry or printed out the pictures yet – like homework, it’s still hanging over me to do. […]

By |May 28th, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Reviews, Travel|0 Comments

Timmy the class bear has a lot to answer for…

BB came home from nursery armed with a new friend this week: Timothy the class bear. He comes complete with a (daunting) looking diary in which we’re supposed to catalogue his stay at our house for the benefit of the other children, preferably with pictures. After reading the previous entry I quickly realised it’s not the other children we’ve got to impress worry about. It’s the parents. According to a story in one of the newspapers this week ‘class wars’ and ‘social divide’ have been sparked by take-home teddies such as Timmy, prompting pushy parents to snap into ‘competitive, aggressive survival mode’. Crikey. Mums featured in the story unwittingly discovered the class bear had been living the high life in Greece and Hawaii and even climbed Mount Everest, while others were pictured lying on sun loungers and in sports cars. Gulp. Where’s my Apache-pilot brother when you need him? Timmy behind the controls of a helicopter would score extra brownie points, surely. […]

By |May 16th, 2014|Family life, Parenting, Travel|1 Comment

Placenta booties: what’s the big deal?

I fear I’ve opened a can of worms. Yesterday a feature I wrote for The Sun newspaper about mums who made unusual keepsakes following the birth of their babies was published online, and as I write there are currently 142 comments on the story on The Sun’s Facebook page. Mainly bad ones. The main objection seems to be to taxidermy artist Alison Brierley who – quite naturally given she’s a taxidermist – made two pairs of baby booties out of the skin of her placenta (pictured, lit up by LED lights). Then there’s young mum Emily Jackson who discovered she loved breast feeding so much she had some of her milk solidified and set into a silver pendant to remind her of the experience forever. Comments range from the mild ‘yuck’ to ‘how sick’ to ‘they must be weirdos and freaks’. What’s the big deal? […]

By |May 14th, 2014|Breast feeding, Craft, Family life, News, Parenting|2 Comments

‘I’ve bought cheaper second hand cars than this pushchair’

At £450, I’ve bought cheaper second hand cars than Quinny’s latest Buzz pushchair, which parenting website Made For Mums has asked me to put through its paces and review for all the newbies out there. I thought I’d share my (highly scientific) findings with you too, in case you’re also in the market for a set of (mummy-powered) wheels. It might be pricey, but if trips out are going to involve a pushchair from now on, my advice is this: you might as well invest in one that’s going to see you through from birth. This one comes with everything you need to get started: the pushchair itself, a from-birth inlay, adaptors for a Maxi Cosi car seat or Quinny carry cot, a shopping basket that will comfortably hold two bags of supermarket shopping (pictured), a rain cover and a sun canopy. Oh, and a parasol clip. […]

By |May 12th, 2014|Exercise, Family life, Parenting, Reviews, Travel|2 Comments

A spring walk in the bluebells: Butcher’s Wood, West Sussex

If you're looking for the perfect place see spring time bluebells in all their glory I've got just the spot: Butcher’s [...]

‘Mummy why do cats have tails?’

BB has finally started asking the why word. To be honest I was getting a bit concerned that this milestone had not yet been reached when all her little friends started asking why months ago. I needn’t have worried. ‘Why are you putting your coat on?’, ‘Why do I have to eat my lunch?’ and ‘Why are you going to work?’ are all questions she’s asked today alone, and more trickily at bath time earlier this week, ‘Why does Daisy have a long tail?’ This is a very good question: why do cats have tails, and long ones at that? (see Eddie & Daisy, pictured). Given I was kneeling on the bathroom floor elbow deep in bubble bath at the time, stalling under the guise of ‘checking my phone’ while nipping onto google to find out was out of the question, so I fudged it by saying that’s ‘how cats are built’ and ‘what makes them different from humans’. […]

By |May 7th, 2014|Cats, Family life, Parenting|8 Comments

Dads on skateboards: no, no, no, no, NO!

Forget scooters. There’s a new scourge of the pavements round our way: dads on skateboards. And not just 20-something dads: [...]

By |May 2nd, 2014|Exercise, Family life, Fashion, Parenting, Travel|2 Comments