­

Cloudy with a chance of trouble

BB has had her first trip to the cinema. And not just any old cinema: London’s Vue cinema in Leicester Square for a preview of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, the latest animation from Sony Pictures three weeks before it is released thanks to tickets Misery Guts managed to bag through work. There was a chroma key screen where we had our photo taken with the characters (pictured), a balloon artist moulding fruit featured in the film, goodie bags with balls of watermelon shaped into meatballs, face painting, balloons and all manner of willy wonka-style treats to eat. With a two year old the trip was always going to go one of two ways – really well or really badly. […]

By |September 30th, 2013|Family life|0 Comments

Thomson holidays in Majorca: no more worries for a day or two

The kids are back at school, the nights are drawing in and flights are finally back to their term-time price tags. Meaning there’s no better time for some late summer sun. As a result BB and I have been on our first girlie holiday together: an all-inclusive package deal to Majorca where the temperature at this time of year averages a respectable 27 degrees. Envious? You should be. It was a week of firsts for us: the first time BB has had her own seat on a plane, the first time I have travelled solo with a toddler, suitcase and pushchair in tow, the first time BB has been without her daddy for more than two nights in a row, the first time we have visited the Balearics and the first time we have experienced an all-inclusive package holiday. When Thomson – which is targeting young families with its pioneering Family Resorts concept – first asked me to review its Majorcan offering, the Protur Aparthotel Bonaire in Cala Bona, I must admit I was sceptical about whether a holiday with obligatory wrist bands, buffet meals and evening entertainment was really for us. […]

By |September 25th, 2013|Family days out, Family life, Food, Reviews, Travel, Uncategorized|9 Comments

Mummy bloggers: we’re pretty great too

Last Monday’s post about a great woman being behind every man on a man diet got me thinking: mummy bloggers [...]

By |September 23rd, 2013|Family life, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Behind every (slimmed down) man is a great woman

So Colin Firth has shed a stone or two, prompting much media back slapping and extolling of the benefits of the ‘man diet’. It’s not clear how he did it – colonic irrigation? Weight Watchers? Hypnotherapy? – but I’m willing to bet his wife played no small part in proceedings, and I’ve not seen her similarly congratulated. I suspect there’s a woman’s hand in this because so far this year Misery Guts has also managed to shed a stone or two embracing the paleo diet, aka the caveman diet, which means no carbs and lots of meat, fish and eggs. It sounds simple enough, but try coming up with decent evening meals with no pasta, potatoes, rice, noodles, grain or bread week in week out. We’re going through 24 eggs a week (the checking of them alone adds 5 minutes to the weekly shop) and of course I’ve inadvertently been on the diet too because I can’t be bothered don’t have the time to prepare two separate meals. […]

By |September 16th, 2013|Family life, Health, News|0 Comments

My family and other animals

I can’t wait until BB starts talking properly. We had Nephew Number 1, nine, to stay last weekend, and among the conversations was this little gem in the car on the way back from Pizza Express: Nephew Number 1: Do penguins have teeth? Misery Guts: No, I don’t believe they do. Nephew Number 1: Do any birds have teeth? Misery Guts: I can categorically say that there are no birds with teeth. (Is this correct? I have no idea) Nephew Number 1: Well, I know of a bird that has teeth. […]

By |September 6th, 2013|Family life|10 Comments

Thank goodness for Doc Martin

The nights are drawing in and I am beside myself with excitement, in only the way a mum consigned to the house owing to a sleeping toddler can be. Weeknight TV is about to get good. Really good. And I’ve got it all mapped out. Guilty pleasure #1: the new series of Doc Martin starts tonight on ITV. Yipeee. One can fein interest for the glorious views of Cornwall, but we all know that’s a big fat lie. Then on Tuesdays and Wednesdays there’s a double bill of telly treats. First there’s the Great British Bake Off on BBC2, followed by Don’t Tell The Bride on BBC3. On Wednesdays Restoration Home on BBC2 is followed by the new series of Grand Designs on Channel 4. I’m in TV heaven. […]

By |September 2nd, 2013|Family life|0 Comments

Smile! Oh sorry, you can’t: new-borns making Facebook debut

57.9 minutes. That’s the average amount of time it takes for images of more than two thirds of new-borns to appear on social media after their birth according to the print website Posterista. And, surprise surprise, Facebook is the most popular choice for that all-important photographic debut. I don’t think we’d even managed to get hold of both sets of grandparents within 57.9 minutes of BB’s birth (after waiting for the phone to ring with baited breath for two weeks they’d given up and were gardening instead, phones buzzing on kitchen tables) let alone reach for the camera. I suppose smartphones are at play here – it’s not as though new dads have a camera poised, take the first pic, kiss wifey goodbye and then leap into the car and race home to upload the precious picture to their PC and hit ‘post’ within an hour of the birth. A few clicks of the phone and it’s done, which begs the question: why the 57.8 minute delay? […]

By |August 28th, 2013|Family life, News|0 Comments

New kids on the block

There is much excitement in our neck of the woods: a new nursery is about to open and I don’t know who’s more excited – the adults or the children. It all started a few months ago when the boards were removed from the windows of a derelict house on the way to the shops, right next door to a well-established, but tired looking, nursery. First trees were pulled down and a beautifully crafted wooden tepee and pirate ship appeared in their place, then shiny emerald astro turf went down in perfectly aligned stripes. BB – and the rest of the children in the neighbourhood – were beside themselves every time they passed, and stopping to admire the latest playground furniture has become routine. Much ooing and ahhing has been audible, and not just from the kids. […]

By |August 21st, 2013|Family life|0 Comments

Is it ok if I cut Makka Pakka’s head off?

Ta dah. After hours in the kitchen Makka Pakka had a day out to the beach for the purposes of BB’s 2nd birthday cake this weekend (pictured). My nephew took one look at him and told me he wanted to cut his head off, which I thought a little unfair. But BB was impressed and that’s what matters. […]

By |August 19th, 2013|Family life, Food|2 Comments

How to make homemade sandwich flags

With pink and green meringues cooling in the oven and having made not one but four homemade cakes ahead of [...]

By |August 16th, 2013|Craft, Family life, Food|8 Comments

Memories are made of…licking a Kenwood ‘K’

Birthday cake making has commenced and as a result BB has reached a milestone: she has licked the Kenwood ‘K’. [...]

By |August 12th, 2013|Family life, Food, Health|4 Comments

Just call me the cake fairy

The venue has been booked, the invitations have been sent and with BB’s 2nd birthday just around the corner it’s time to turn my attention to the most important task of all: her birthday cake. Here is last year’s effort (pictured), In The Night Garden eat your heart out, which I have to say went down a treat even if I do say so myself. The trouble is I’ve set the bar now, which means I’ve got to come up with something equally creative this year. Which is easier said than done, as this time last year BB was happy to jump around in her door bouncer as I painstakingly fashioned Makka Pakka’s tail out of fondant icing and secured Upsy Daisy’s hair with edible glue. Misery Guts suggested we ask someone else to make one given I’m no longer on maternity leave and have zero time on my hands, but I’m afraid this is akin to a cardinal sin where I come from: birthday cakes have always been (handmade) by mum, with as much effort as one can muster. So there’ll be no outsourcing here. […]

By |August 7th, 2013|Family life, Food|3 Comments

We’re DEFINITELY not there yet, mummy

A trip to the garage on Saturday afternoon to upgrade the car posed a dilemma: do we go for the metallic blue sporty model with a touch screen dashboard and alloy wheels or the hatchback estate in sensible silver with a bigger, lower boot and plenty of room for Christmas presents. It was a simple case of head over heart. The blue sporty model, roughly the same size as our car now, but better looking and with better gadgets. And we’d still have to take the damn wheels off the Quinny to haul the ****ing thing in the boot. Whereas the sensible silver estate comes with a boot so big and so low all the frailest person in the world would need is a little minor exertion and the pushchair would be safely stowed away in one piece, as opposed to five. And there’d still be room for a scooter and a bike. And Christmas presents. […]

By |August 5th, 2013|Family life, Travel|2 Comments

How about a naughty corner…for dads

I feel like a really really crummy mummy. We’ve introduced a ‘naughty corner’ and the expression on BB’s face when she was first put there by Misery Guts will be imprinted on my mind forever (pictured posed by a model, by the way. I’m not that awful).To be honest it’s been a long time coming: discipline up until now has been pretty much zero. Misery Guts has been banging on about a naughty step for a while, and when BB upturned a lunch I’d lovingly prepared for her and threw it straight on the floor it was the final straw.Since we live in flat and have only one step (which is between two rooms and where she likes to sit to watch TV) a corner in the hall away from toys, CBeebies and anything vaguely fun was the only option. I was in a different room when Misery Guts deposited her there and I waited with bated breath, peering round the kitchen door, to see what would happen. […]

By |August 2nd, 2013|Discipline, Family life|0 Comments

Pippa Middleton I (might) need you: words I never thought I’d say

August is almost upon us which means BB’s birthday is just weeks away and the party planner of the century [...]

By |July 29th, 2013|Books, Family life, Food, Reviews|0 Comments