Time has run away from me but 17 days in and I am still sugar-free. It has become much easier as the days have gone by and the toll its taken my body has not been… More
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.
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!
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….
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.
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.
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:
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. Medicine for mama, medicine for babe. Take note: the gift box service is spot on! #bestgiftwrap
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
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
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
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
This one is as fresh as they come. New mama business. Cute ‘Type’ monochrome tees supporting women. Definitely one to watch! #bestshopperbag
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
Gisella is currently exhibiting at Coya in Mayfair, London until 1st March.
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
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
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!
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
Kitchen Disco is published by Faber and Faber.
Follow Clare Foges on Twitter @clarefoges
Follow Al Murphy on Twitter @mr_almurphy
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!
Lindsay McLindsayson x
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!
Parents plied with booze mid afternoon with no offer of an alternative, whilst being ordered to wear moustaches?
I would never usually write about somewhere this close to my home, but in this case, I can’t not. Living in Suburbia has taken its toll. I’m no longer down with the kids, and although Surbiton is rich in delicious, independent cafes, it’s also rich in big branded restaurants, (everything you expect from a family friendly ‘burb). I’m not a fan of the big brand and I have been struggling to find anywhere to call my local. Surbiton is designed for families and whereas I do really appreciate this, (I’m a proud owner of one little monster), how fucking amazing is it to go somewhere that’s just that bit too cool for the kids? I’m not a Pizza Express kind of girl, and it’s great that Surbiton finally has a fresh alternative for us Suburbitons, fighting the stereotype.
Tapa literally means ‘cover’ or ‘lid’. In the beginning there were olives, almonds fried in oil and sprinkled with salt, and chunks of bread served with an olive oil dip. These are the original tapas. Simple foods, requiring little or no preparation. As the tradition evolved, tapas became more of a gastronomic event, with each new venue developing their own specialties.
Tapas, is based on simple recipes and the imaginative use of seasonal vegetables and local ingredients. The concept of tapas is to share. It is essentially a style of eating rather than a method of cooking.
Tapas (or one tapa) can be whatever you want. It is very popular in Spanish culture, the Spanish traditionally don’t drink without eating something, and originally these small snacks were given free as an accompaniment to a bought drink. Tapas can also be dinner with friends too. That’s the beauty of it. You can order as little or as much as you want. It can be kept simple or be made more complicated. It can be a small snack taken with a drink or two at lunchtime, an appetiser in the early evening before the main meal, or even as nibbles with a post-dinner cocktail. Whichever way you prefer it, I prefer mine best served with a gin cocktail amongst great company and a lovely atmosphere. Let me introduce you to this little beauty, Number NinetySeven
Tapas at N.97 is hearty and unpretentious. The ingredients are fresh, flavours are robust and the presentation is simple. In it’s own words “innovation and buzz of the city meets the openness and warmth of the country”. N.97 is a breath of fresh air and just what my corner of Suburbia needed. Oh yeah, and did I mention it has a Gin bar? It’s hip, sleek and perfectly cutting edge. My kinda cool.
97 Maple Road, Surbiton KT6 4AW
Follow them on Instagram @numberninetyseven
Follow them on Twitter @no_ninetyseven
Find them on Facebook @numberninetysevensurbiton
All pics were taken by me at Number NinetySeven and are of genuine dishes.
I’m not trying to be one of those cool sweary blogger mums, but my reality is I’m just a swearer. All the effing time. I can’t help it. I use it for enthusiasm and humour and just plain habit. I don’t think about it enough, to always rein it in.
I swear in front of my son. I try not too, especially now he’s talking and absorbing every little thing like a sponge, but sometimes a perfectly timed F-bomb just slips right out.
I have stopped worrying about it. I think that actually, it’s ok. Swearing has its place; it’s always my honest, and emotional reaction. It’s instinct. When I love something – coffee, art, a cool bar, – I fucking love it. I am celebrating my joy in life, with words, and to be honest, fuck happens to be one of my favourites.
I want my son to see me as a real, honest and straight talking person, with real life feelings, and to see how I react and cope with normal daily life. I am trying to replace the shits with the sugars and the fucks with the fluffs but what’s the point, when 10 minutes later I stub my toe and an array of unstoppable, colourful words just pop right out?
I don’t want to tip-toe around touchy subjects. You will not find rose-tainted, sugar coated explanations here. I want to teach my son to be passionate about life. I couldn’t care less if you think I am a bitch (I’m not!) or if you think I am a ‘bit of a dick’ for speaking out against discrimination, bullying or life’s unfairness. I will not be apologetic for standing up for my son, my friends or myself. I am not violent nor am I a hater, but anyone who fucks with my loved ones will be torn to pieces with my sharp tongue and explosive vocabulary. I use swear words to express my emotions, whether that be happy or sad, angry or fluffing elated . I swear my way through life’s tricky situations and well, at the end of the day, Fuck is just a word.
A word in itself, any word, isn’t harmful unless it is used in a harmful way. Harm is determined by how the word is used. If you’re using expletives to verbally and emotionally attack, then of course this is harmful. However, if you spill your Tea and your first reaction is to blurt out ‘oh, bugger’ then that my friends is just reality.
I am teaching my son to express himself in cathartic and productive ways. I do not want him to be worried about being judged by everyone around him, and I want him to be tolerant, empathetic and non-judgemental in return. I want him to know that when someone does judge him, and makes him feel anything less than brilliant, that fuck off is a completely acceptable response.
I don’t for a minute wish for you to think that I tolerate or condone this kind of language. I don’t want my son to swear, (and I will do what I can to discourage it), but I also don’t feel like I have to censor myself. He will grow up responsible and educated enough to appreciate that there are some things kids can do, and there are some things only adults can do. If I censor all of this, how can I expect him to work it out?
Language is a powerful tool. Being a parent has taught me that there is as much menace in “get down from there, now” then there is in any profanity I use when I stub my toe, and that “you fucking idiot” has the same attacking undertones as “you idiot“. Context is everything. So, when BV falls over and lets rip with a “dammit, mummy” (true story!) I will stifle a giggle and give zero fucks whatsoever….