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Mother’s ruin: Misery Guts is back at work and mum has gone home

The babymoon is over. Misery Guts is back at work, my mum has gone home and BB, Little B and I are on our own, forging new routines and getting to grips with being three. It’s definitely a case of the blind leading the blind, and means only one thing: by 7 o’clock I need a drink. Sadly I can’t indulge as often as I’d like owing to the small issue of breast feeding, so I’ve decided that when I have one it’s going to be a good one. Pictured is this week’s tipple: a mother’s ruin gin cocktail after the nice people at Greenall’s sent me a bottle of their new wild berry blackberry and raspberry infused gin. Misery Guts didn’t need much prompting to whip up one of the signature serves: gin, vanilla syrup and lemon juice with blackberries and raspberries. It was absolutely delicious, although I only dared to have a few sips for fear of going to bed and waking up to find Little B on the floor/under the duvet/etc etc. […]

By |November 26th, 2014|Breast feeding, Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Recipes|0 Comments

Thanks to the garden we switched the telly off for TWO WEEKS

Living in a fourth floor flat means being able to run through a door into a garden isn’t an activity which features in BB’s usual routine. So when we decamped to my parents’ house in Dorset while they were sunning it in Spain for two weeks BB thought all her Christmases had come at once. She pram pushed (pictured), she scootered, she ran barefoot in the grass, she watered the plants and ate breakfast, lunch and dinner in the great outdoors, leaving CBeebies mercifully switched off for almost our entire trip, which has got to be a holiday in itself. With her 3rd birthday falling slap bang in the middle of our holiday and with the garden at our feet it was the perfect opportunity to throw a birthday barbecue and try out a set of garden games we were sent by Two Little Fleas, who are encouraging families to spend more quality time together by playing outdoors this summer. […]

I managed to pull off a recognisable Peppa Pig cake using Brio…

Apologies for the radio silence. We’re one week into our two week holiday in Dorset, and while I thought I’d [...]

By |August 18th, 2014|Craft, Family life, Food, Parenting, Recipes|0 Comments

What’s wrong with a big pot yoghurt poured into a bowl and eaten with a spoon?

It’s been almost 10 years since Ella’s Kitchen pioneered the squeezable ‘pouch puree’ baby food concept and despite claims the format is no match for real fruit/veg and is no substitute for a ‘proper meal’ blah blah blah it’s fair to say the market is now awash with copycat brands. Which is why I was surprised to discover that gourmet yoghurt brand The Collective’s new Suckies are the first fresh branded yoghurt pouches on the market for kids. You’d think Petits Filous or someone would have thought of it before – why has it taken so long? Needless to say BB’s eyes lit up when a polystyrene box full of samples landed on our mat for the purposes of review this week. Like Ella’s Kitchen, Suckies come in brightly coloured pouches which became instantly referred to by BB – and no doubt countless toddlers – as ‘the red one’ and the ‘green one’ as opposed to their proper names. […]

By |July 23rd, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Money, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews, Weaning|0 Comments

Pregnancy after multiple miscarriage: chicken soup for the soul (or baby)

Week: 23 Waist: 36 inches (+0.5 inches, possibly owing to Misery Guts’ work trip to the Cadbury factory) Feeling: Chickeny I’ve developed my first pregnancy craving: chicken soup. And not just any old chicken soup. It has to be fresh (tins are a no-no), it has to have actual pieces of chicken in and there can’t be any other ingredient other than chicken (sweetcorn is the stuff of the devil). I realise it’s been one of the hottest weeks of the year, but I can’t get enough of the stuff. I’m sipping as I write. It’s now got to the point that my local Tesco has been sold out of its Creamy Chicken Soup for three days in a row, and I’ve had no option but to move on to the Finest version instead, which oddly isn’t as nice (forget Covent Garden, have you seen the fat content?) […]

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

By’eck! I’ve just eaten a squasage

That’s right, a squasage. Also known as a square sausage. That’s what gluten free sausage brand Heck have been busy making in time for the barbecue season, because it doesn’t fall through the rungs of the grill only to be burned to a crisp and lost forever, or roll off the side of the barbie onto the grass (pictured). We haven’t dusted down our barbecue yet, so I’ve been eating mine between two soft and thick slices of (gluten free) bread. It may not look like a traditional sausage sandwich – as BB was fast to point out – but it tastes just the same and makes spreading the ketchup even easier. When embarking on Project No Nasties last autumn I thought living free-from would also mean going without, but when it comes to sausages I’ve found an ever better offering than the standard shelves. […]

By |April 14th, 2014|Family life, Food, Health, Parenting, Recipes, Reviews|0 Comments

Things the troops could do with: cupcakes made by a 2-year-old

I know Easter is more than a week away, but BB and I have been busy making chocolate shredded wheat nests in time to send to her uncle who’s currently serving in Afghanistan (pictured). I realise there are probably more urgent – and useful – things the troops could do with than a batch of varying sized cupcakes made from breakfast cereal by a two-year-old (decent coffee and new socks are repeated pleas from my brother), however there’s nothing like a taste of childhood either. I also realise, with the temperature hotting up out there, that sending chocolate-based treats probably isn’t the best idea but I’m buoyed by the fact that when her uncle was stationed in the very same camp I sent a piece of her 1st (chocolate) birthday cake in mid-August and he said it was the best thing he ever tasted (although this probably isn’t saying much given the regulation ‘food’ which makes up their staple diet). […]

By |April 9th, 2014|Family life, Food, Parenting, Recipes|2 Comments