This is my dad..he seems pretty normal to me…

I had a rare evening out last night leaving Mr Intrepid home with BV. It doesn’t happen very often but I always feel incredibly guilty. Mum guilt gets me every time. I need not worry so much as the boys get along just fine without me. So much so that BV is very much a daddy’s boy. Daddy is definitely his favourite.

“This is my dad..he seems pretty normal to me…”

We recently had some new additions to BV’s book shelf including this macho book of love. 

My Dad used to be so Cool is written and illustrated by Keith Negley.  It’s a fun book with bold and colourful illustrations. 

A cool dad gives up his cool life to keep it real with his son. My Dad used to be so Cool is a cute bed time story for daddy and his mini-me to enjoy together. This one is loved by both BV and daddy (and me) and aimed at those used-to-be-cool-dads (hehem Mr Intrepid?) that might be sporting ink, riding a motorbike or still talking about that band they were in whilst at Uni! 

My Dad used to be so cool has the kids trying to work out what happened to make daddy “…give it all up” whilst allowing us parents to be knowingly smug (if a touch nostalgic!)

I like to see tattooed daddies represented amongst today’s children’s books; and it’s a sure fire way to know that the ‘next generation’ are having children of their own. Ink and mohicans are not only accepted as the norm but it’s so acceptable now that it is no longer “alternative” (I hate that expression’- alternative to what?). 

My dad used to be so cool is a wistful tale of life as a parent; giving it all up to have it all..It is for every daddy who desperately wants their kid to know that “back in their day..” they were cutting edge. All we need now is a “my mum is still so cool” sequel to reassure us that we’ve got this too!

Lindsay x

My Dad used to be so Cool
is published by Flying Eye Books



I’m definitely still Rock ‘n’ Roll

Today is an unexpected family day. Mr Intrepid usually works Sunday lunchtimes (the hospitality burden) but I got lucky and we had a few hours all together. We decided on a river walk followed by a low-key lunch (a la Byron). It was so cold outside, I needed warming up and (surprise, surprise) ordered coffee. Rank. Turns out not all sugar free coffee is delicious. Coupled with the fact I couldn’t order my usual malt banana milkshake (super tasty!). I was miffed. Food as usual was delicious so this is not a negative review-it just means I need to stick with coffee shops for coffee. Lesson learnt.

Now, not only was I freezing but I was also grumpy. It took me another attempt at caffeine and a perfect coffee (thank you The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs) to gain some perspective. 

Mood swings are another symptom of sugar withdrawal as is bizarrely feeling chilly (with flu like symptoms). I know it’s cold outside but I am a bare arms and coat kind of girl so I was taken by surprise to feel freezing and desperately wishing for a jumper, a hat and gloves! I used to always feel cold until I had a baby. Then I overheated every day and had the windows open, and the central heating switched off all year round. I assumed that it was hormonal and that my new resting body temp. was just naturally a couple degrees warmer. Now, I have realised that actually it’s down to my sugar addiction (yes it’s a real thing!). I am experiencing a whole heap of withdrawal symptoms.

  • Fatigue (9pm bedtime!)
  • Mood swings
  • Change in Appetite (I am starving all the time. I’m scoffing half of my packed lunch for work as I make it!)
  • Chills 
  • Headaches
  • And also finally cravings! 

Tonight, I have eaten (inhaled actually) a handful of grapes which is a bit naughty. It may not be refined sugar but they have a lot of fructose. They tasted incredible. So unbelievably sweet. Like…well, sweets. 

Day 5 has definitely been the trickiest so far. Headaches, moods and chills and porridge oats with cinnamon as a last ditch attempt to fill me up before bed. I am still refined sugar free (just about) and with my early bed time? I am definitely still rock ‘n’ roll. I’m just having a rest.🤘🏻

Lindsay x

Another day, another smoothie..

I call this one Green Strawberry Sludge. 

1 Handful of Kale, 1 small cup of Almond Milk, 1 kiwi, 5-6 large strawberries and a teaspoon of chia seeds.

This one  is BV’s favourite so far (too many strawberries) so obviously it’s quite sweet. My body has definitely reset itself because even I found this a bit too sweet. Nevertheless, smoothies are a great way to add some extra goodness into him (as well as me) especially as there are not too many vegetables he eats. This also proved to be a fun activity for him to help me with. Not only did I get my boy to consume Kale (bleurgh) but he did it so proudly! 

Day 4: I feel constantly hungry and I’m still knackered. I’m actually starting to like sugar free coffee, although I can’t get used to sugar free tea (the everyday kind), and I’ve cut out most of my cereal (today I had bran flakes, the best of a bad bunch). My skin feels rotten and I’m cold all day long but I am still Sugar Free! Get in.

Lindsay x

Raw Chocolate Mulberries anyone?

Thank Fuck it’s Friday. My 2 hour commute is really starting to take it’s toll. I’m grateful it only happens 3 days a week but I am exhausted! I’ve noticed today (Day 3: No Sugar) that some of the withdrawal symptoms are starting to show up. 

When we eat sugary foods, our bodies release serotonin and beta-endorphin. These are neurotransmitters that improve our mood, and ease anxiety. It’s a feel good buzz that our bodies crave over and over again. Removing sugar from my diet will also remove those cravings. 

Firstly I’m shattered. Fall asleep whilst on the train shattered (unusually I was able to actually get a seat). That hasn’t happened in a long time. The second thing I’ve noticed is the strange dreams. I’ve experienced a few over the last couple of nights and they are weird even by my standards. I guess now that they are showing up, this is where I may start to crack.

Today we had a birthday in the office, which means…cake! Well for everyone except me that is. But It’s ok. I still don’t need cake. I deliberately filled myself up with my own antipasti cheese and meats.  And humous (one of my favourite things). Just so I wouldn’t even be tempted. I wasn’t. I am still cake free. 

I rediscovered As Nature Intended too whilst trying to track down Rice Malt Syrup (no such luck) and forgot how much good stuff they have. Raw Chocolate Mulberrys anyone? It’s a great place to stock up organic, wholesome goodness so I found myself some treats to scoff whilst everyone else ate cake!

I am getting in to the swing of this now. I might even…dum….dum…dum bake something…watch this space!

Lindsay x

I bought Kale!

So, the food shop arrived today! In the words of Mr Intrepid “your weird stuff’s here”. I have never spent so much money on food like this before. Eating well is expensive! I have never owned so much chia seeds, flaxseeds, cacoa and spirulina, and I have no idea what to do with it. For the first time ever in my life, I bought Kale (I hate Kale), but times are a changing and my smoothies (thank you trusty Nutri-bullet) need some extra special goodness to keep me sweet. Pun intended. 

It’s day 2 and I’m still feeling happy, positive and strong. I added cinnamon to my porridge to take the edge of and pretty much filled up on cheese for the rest of the day. I did enjoy a sweet, super healthy, green smoothie (totally forgot to get a picture!) that even BV enjoyed. I’m not even missing the sugar from my tea and coffee yet. It all seems a bit too easy to be honest….

Lindsay x

“Shit with Sugar on…”

Feb is here and I’m finally cracking on with my New Year’s resolution: to give up sugar (for at least a month). Anyone who knows me will tell you this is no mean feat. 

Remember asking “what’s for tea?” and being told “shit with sugar on…” it’s not quite so literal but it’s still kind of true.

Yes I am one of the worst eaters I know. I skip lunch (and sometimes breakfast), eat cereal for dinner and drink tea and coffee all day long. I never used to have such a sweet tooth but I got the craving for sugar whilst pregnant and it’s never really gone away.

I know it’s bad for me but I eat sugary treats to relax. I get the same endorphin high I used to get from exercise. Once upon a time, I used to train four evenings a week just for fun and cycle the fuck out of my Sunday morning hangovers at ‘double spinning’.  These days my evenings involve curling up on the sofa with Game of Thrones, a bowl of cheerios and an entire packet of custard creams! Oh yes, I am living the dream.

Bloggers, Celebrities and Health food extraordinaires worldwide are promoting and praising the benefits of a sugar free lifestyle. 

Sarah Wilson and Ella Woodward are currently two of the ‘low to no sugar’ lifestyles biggest advocates. Both offering best selling books and blogs. I’ve been avidly reading both over the last few weeks. I’m not educated enough to give up all sugar. There are loads of different names for sugar and it’s hidden in everything

I don’t believe in fad diets, I truly believe it’s all about balance and moderation. However time is short and it’s not so easy fitting in a spin class between work and toddler bed time, so I’m giving this one a try. I’m reconnecting with the ‘old’ me and making room for this ‘new’ one (well an improved version). It’s time to get off this chocolate see-saw before my teeth fall out! Wish me luck.

Day 1: My resolve is strong 💪🏻 I managed to enjoy my morning coffee sugar free. This was my biggest concern as I love a sweet coffee but today was a good day. As they say on the Eurovision Song Contest: Sugar: nil point.

Lindsay x

Instagraming the shit out of life

Once again January is nearly over and I’ve not written a word in weeks. Life got in the way again, and I’m not sorry about that.

My last post was actually a guest post written for Bad Mum in early December. For those that missed me, you can read it here. I can share it now as the news is official. My bestie Gravy, has totally made a baby!

I did hope to write a festive post in December as I usually get creative and wanted to share some of my festive makes and bakes. Instead, I want to talk Instagram shops.

I’m not recognised as a trendsetter (try this lady for that!) nor do I care too much to follow fashion closely. I just pick things I like and hope I don’t look too much like Stig of the dump…I’m definitely not a fashion blogger. However, I do like to shop Independent, and I’m not just talking clothes (just as well as I look like an oversized potato these days….) #dontdresslikethismum

Im talking, quirky cafes and bars, locally sourced produce, handmade arts and crafts, and personalised touches. I have a particular fondness for ‘Mama Merch’ as despite my Bad Mum post,  I am very much in awe of all those mamas that can get shit done and still create. You get the gist. I like to support small, local business’, whenever I can.

I was hoping to write this post closer to Christmas as it has been a long time coming but I’m going to share it now. We’re all getting over the expense of the holidays I know, but we can still look, right?

Here’s my favourite pick of Insta-Shops:

1. @BlackandBleech

‘Alison’ necklace from Black and Bleech and T-shirt from La Totch

I absolutely love their ‘Scandi’ take on monochrome and these beaut beaded necklaces are rad. Handmade and contemporary, they are also practical and baby-friendly! They’re made from Food-Grade Silicon and unfinished wood. It’s a cool gift for a cool mama, and perfectly fine for baby to give it a good chew!
I was already a fan before I discovered (and subsequently won in a pre-Christmas giveaway) this cheeky, little number:

Coffee and Calpol from Black and Bleech

Coffee and Calpol. Medicine for mama, medicine for babe. Take note: the gift box service is spot on! #bestgiftwrap

2. @iamacrylic

Battersea Power Station by I am Acrylic

These guys have been a favourite of mine for a few years now and I am still in love with them. Most of the jewellery is made from acrylic and it’s all hand cut by fret saw (no laser cutting here!). All pieces are individual and iconic.
On suspecting myself and Mr Intrepid had duplicated an order (we ordered the same thing, separately on the same day 😂) they contacted him to query if he’d ordered me a surprise present, and offered to cancel his order without giving the game away. Super, sweet service to go with the super, sweet products. #bestservice

3. @mresoeur

Mere Soeur Pin

This is my mama crush. Everything about Mere Soeur is uber hip. Madame Mere Soeur herself, is a powerful, positive role model for us womenfolk and her merch oozes strength, support and good vibes. Never underestimate the power of a girl gang. #bestgiftsforyourgalpals

4. @nor_folk_store

T-Shirts all by Nor-Folk

Nor-folk is a graphic design-led, lifestyle brand. It’s neutral, minimalist and timeless designs are ideal for everyone. Quality over Quantity, and perfect for monochrome lovers. I’m a big fan. #bestfortwinning

5. @weareenough

Jumper by We are Enough Co.
This is your reminder. Even on your darkest day, you can do this. I can do this. I am enough. We Are Enough Co merch empowers, unites and supports through good times and bad times. A percentage of profits go to charitable causes that do just that too. You got this. Strong, positive designs to empower. Very special. #bestforreassurance

6. @la.totch

This one is as fresh as they come. New mama business. Cute ‘Type’ monochrome tees supporting women. Definitely one to watch! #bestshopperbag

T-Shirt and Shopper bag by La Totch. Necklace by Black and Bleech.

7. @gisellastapletonart

Rebel, Khalo Thayer by Gisella Stapleton

Prince by Gisella Stapleton
Gisella is a Peruvian born Spanish artist based in London. Her work is particularly influenced by women and her blend of colours really bring her creations to life. She is a real inspiration and extremely talented. #bestcolours

Wild Tina by Gisella Stapleton

Gisella is currently exhibiting at Coya in Mayfair, London until 1st March.

8. @lennieandco

Unisex Handscreen printed t-shirts and sweatshirts made with eco-friendly inks. Award winning (Junior Design Awards 2016) clothing for our little one. My own BV loves his tees from here. Fun designs to wear on fun days. I’m looking forward to getting him the new ‘bossy’ tee. #bestforfun

T-Shirts both by Lennie and Co

9. @amanzi_live_life_as_water

No website for this one yet. Handmade in Cornwall (yay home county!) crocheted hats and blankets made to order. Fam-A-Lamb received a beautiful hat each as a gift and we just love them! Great for gifting (and receiving). Just ping them a message with your request! #bestforhandmade

Fam-A-Lamb hats by Amanzi Live Life as Water
This is proving to be quite a lengthy post as there are still a heap more cool shops I have not yet mentioned. Il carry on Instagramming the shit out of life for now but watch this space for a part 2!

Lindsay x

Shake it like a mango, party like a pear…

It’s been a while since BV found a new favourite book. We picked up this beauty recently on a friends recommendation.

Thanks to childrens movies and The Elf on the Shelf company, a lot of children believe their toys come to life at night. I have to admit, I was never one of those children. Too much of a cynic I guess? Or maybe the result of having older siblings determined to always have the upper hand? I hope that my son grows into his childhood with this ability to just believe. Who knew that the buck did not just stop at toys though? Who the hell knew that fruit comes to life too?! Wowzers.

Written by Clare Foges and Al Murphy, Kitchen Disco is a silly story about what happens when the sun goes down and the fruit bowl comes alive. Clare Foges’ eccentric tale begins, when most days are ending, as the family go to bed.
As soon as the house is quiet and the occupants are asleep, the fruit wake up and get their groove on. The Pineapple high fives his friends, the lemons break dance and the melon dances with a grape (obvs!). You just can’t help but bop along too.

Of course this is made even more silly by the colourful illustrations. Thank you Al Murphy.
The pages are themselves, alive with colour as the fruit throw shapes across the pages. The beautiful holographic illustrations pop right out of the book. They really do bring the fruit alive.

My toddler has a fondness for the absurd, and this really brings out the fun side of storytelling. Its perfect for our pre-bed rap. Yes, we do that.

Kitchen Disco brings a smile to both our faces and a bit more personality to BV’s bookshelf. Clearly one of the funniest and most colourful books we have discovered in a while, and it’s now a firm favourite.
So listen closely as you go to sleep tonight and you might just hear your fruits answer to Fatboy Slim (Fatboy skin?) as they get up and then get down….

BV rating 10/10

Lindsay X
Kitchen Disco is published by Faber and Faber.

Follow Clare Foges on Twitter @clarefoges
Follow Al Murphy on Twitter @mr_almurphy

A letter to my Judge

Dear Judgy McJudgyson, if that’s even your real name…?

Why do you do it? Silently judging parents and how they parent, particularly if they parent differently from you. Does it come from your own insecurity?  Are other parents’ methods making you question your own methods? No one wants to think they’re not doing right by their child. You are having doubts. In this competitive sport that parenting has become, your way is the only way.

However, your silent judging isn’t so silent anymore. I can hear you. 

You’re staring at me. You’re pointing and whispering-“I can’t believe she’s doing that” saying that/allowing that” Well listen up Judgy McJudgyson, so what if I am?!

Somehow every parenting decision I have ever made is fair game for criticism: Did I find out the sex? What kind of birth did I have?, Does my child have his own room? Am I going to breastfeed?, Why am I still breastfeeding? Do I allow my child to watch TV?, Is he still in nappies?  Oh.My.Effing.God!, Are you going out? Without him?

“Oh” you say, “I’m not doing that” (eye roll). Why do you care whether or not my child watches CBeebies 12 hours a day, eats ice cream for dinner or spends most of the night cuddled up in my bed instead of his own?

Do you know what’s really helpful? I am cramming my heart and soul into raising my son, struggling with a myriad of everyday, normal woes, financial, health, work -whatever – when I am judged by you.  Super mum, who arrogantly knows just what to do. It’s amazing. And oh so welcome. Because that’s what I need: a kick in the teeth by someone who’s got this mothering thing in the bag.  

Your judging has sadly become part of my mum culture. I try to keep my opinions to myself, my own mum taught me if I’ve nothing nice to say then I shouldn’t say anything at all. And this is (mostly) how I live. I remove myself from the situation. I do not need your opinions and I do not need you.

I know I’m never going to stop noticing how other mums do their thing and wondering how my own choices stack up. I think it’s fine to notice. It’s fine to discuss our differences. Whatever works-right? I know I’m not like you. I hope I’m not like you. I never want to make any mum or parent feel the way you make me feel.

We are supposed to share our war stories with each other. Offer a hand, an ear or a cup of tea. I’m on an island and I can’t swim, for fucks sake pass me a fucking life belt!

It’s become the norm to mercilessly judge our fellow parents, yet behind closed doors we share the same worries and angst. We should be mindful of each other’s feelings.  Somewhere along the way we have forgotten, that we’re all on the same team. What’s that African proverb….? Oh yes, It takes an entire village to raise a child.
Well listen up Judgy McJudgyson, you can roll your eyes at me and point your finger all you like but you and I are the same. We are mums and we need each other, so Mum the fuck up and join this village!

Yours Sincerely,

Lindsay McLindsayson x

The Reluctant Hostess

As a child I’d cry if anyone came to the house, and not just strangers; I remember sitting at the top of the stairs at Bromley Cres. crying my eyes out because my Grandparents whom I loved, had come to visit. The cheek of it!

Fortunately, I am no longer shy in my every day life. I enjoy meeting new people and I am confident in one-to-one situations.  I’ve got several close best friends, including some that go as far back as school days; and I have a phone book full of mums whom I see pretty much every week. Cram them all in to my flat for a sober, toddler birthday party and I am sick with nerves.

I love to have guests, but I’m not much of an inviter, self-consciousness creeps in and overwhelms my good intentions.

Growing up, I don’t recall ever having a birthday party although I attended many. I always assumed it was because of the expense (5 kids, 5 birthday parties) but now I have realised it is just too stressful. When I was 11 and in my first year of secondary school, myself and my two younger siblings begged to have a party, and eventually we wore our folks down and convinced them in to agreeing to letting us have a Christmas Party. One condition. I had to share it with my little brother. Easy.

He invited his entire class and I invited a select number of my own classmates. I was too embarrassed to invite boys, so I invited girls only, including some of the “cool” girls. I was painfully shy and hitting puberty- can’t imagine why I thought this would be a great idea. The “cool” girls obviously didn’t attend (No boys – duh!) and that was it for me.

I was picked on and bullied after this for not being “cool”. Do you remember when you were at school and there was always the one kid in the class that really smelt? Or, everyone said really smelt, and you went along with it just grateful that you weren’t the smelly kid? Well, I was the smelly kid. Or at least, I was the kid everyone called the smelly kid. I think it was because (despite the fact I was showering 2-3 times a day in attempts to just not be the smelly kid) once in PE I didn’t use deodorant (for fucks sake, how many 11 year old’s use deodorant?). Anyway I am digressing, these days I try to avoid hosting.

For my sons birthday I teamed up with a lovely, sociable mum (whom also had a birthday tot), my wing woman, (safety in numbers and all that) and planned an outdoor party in the park (neutral ground). I don’t know what I was thinking to be honest, I am a rubbish hostess. Hosting is most definitely not my forte. Anyway, of course my leading lady got sick and the rains came, oh and Sainsbury’s didn’t deliver my grocery’s due to a “technical error”…I needed a Plan B. Let’s have the party here in my home! You know, the one where I avoid hosting coffee mornings or playdates at?  Great idea stupid ass. Rarely does anyone get an invite to my flat, I dislike it so much. We are fortunate enough to live in a very affluent area with pretty river views and lovely neighbours. However, I live above a pub in an old flat. On the upside, the windows and ceilings are high and magnificent, and the flat is spacious and light, and the downside? the kitchen looks like it belongs in a 1980’s youth hostel, and the bathroom grows more mould than Alexander Flemming. Hardly yummy mummy territory.

I want to invite, I really do. I know how loved I feel when I’m invited. I watch friends do it with ease and grace and admire them for their ability to fold people into their lives. I can’t concentrate once the anxiety sets in. The promise of forced interaction in the name of good parenting instills a panic.  What if no one shows up?, or worse, what if they do? Oh god, what if they notice my washing drying in the bedroom, or that my bathroom towels don’t match?

Sweat trickles down my back and my lips are dry. I am talking. I am not sure what about, I am talking non stop. I am acutely aware of the awkwardness I’m desperately trying to hide. I can’t tell if my guests are startled by my deliberate effervescence or if they think I am witty and charming (I did make them wear moustaches!) I am 20% having an ok time, and 80% racking my brain for something to say and wondering when they can all go home? I am at my most uncomfortable as I do my best to ensure everyone is having a nice time.  My surface level housekeeping, eclectic furniture, fear of saying the wrong thing, and decidedly awkward inability to offer anyone a drink, stops me, if I even have a minute to think about being a hostess.

I am lucky enough to have an amazing husband with a level head. Mr Intrepid works in hospitality which we all know is technically hosting for a living. He is charming and he is witty and despite the fact that this party is for a 2 year old, his emergency trip to Waitrose brings us booze. Hurrah.

Oh and there were cakes!

Cupcakes & photo both by Passionfruit Bakery

Happy 2 year old? Tick #ParentingWin

Parents plied with booze mid afternoon with no offer of an alternative, whilst being ordered to wear moustaches?

#Hostingwin? – jury’s still out on that one!
Lindsay X