Toddler Wanderlust (Part deux)…scrap the toddler essentials and just pack wine

As it turned out, my previous post’s packing list proved to be totally useless. You can tell I am total beginner at this mum thing.

  1. Distraction toys. Unnecessary mostly. BV was happy with an IPad and slept on both flights. I bet I’d need them if I didn’t take them so for now I’m keeping them as an essential. ✅
  2. Sunscreen obvs. ✅ pop up tent? Pff considering we only made the beach in the evening this was a big fat no. ❎
  3. Baby carrier. Yes! #holidaywin ✅
  4. Beach shoes. Did you even read my Santorini with a toddler post?  #holidayfail ❎
  5. Baby powder. For Fucks Sake ❎

For our next trip i’ll start a fresh as clearly I brought more crap then was deemed necessary. However, I did bring one item that turned out to be the absolute shizzle.

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 THIS!

Corksicle Canteen Keeps drinks cold for up to 25 hours or hot for 12 hours. This really is the best thing since sliced bread. Totally revolutionary and worth every penny of the £20 note I handed over. In fact I’m off to buy a few more..

 

Lindsay x

 

 

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Santorini with a toddler

As Santorini is our first proper overseas family holiday (we did go to France for a long weekend last year whilst BV was still dinky) we booked the trip with Thomson, primarily to keep logistics simple (free hotel transfers) and the expenses low (Santorini is notorious for being costly).  This is my first (and last) ever package deal. I’m a lover not a hater, and I am not here to write a shoddy review. However I must stress if you do wish to book with Thomson then please do your research and read customer reviews on line beforehand.

After waking the rest of Fam-A-Lamb at 2.45am to catch the 6am flight, you can only imagine how horrendous the first day on Santorini was. Let me elaborate. The hour sat on the runway waiting for plane to take off was a bit tricky, but nothing RaRa the lion and an IPad couldn’t fix. The flight was an easy snooze fest for all of us (we were in a cab by 3am). However the shit really hits the fan when we check into our hotel…30+ degrees, tired, hungry screaming child who just wants to run into traffic and across the beach. Something I have to mention. Black Volcanic Sand, we packed beach shoes as knew it would be hot but something that no one bothered to report anywhere…it’s too fucking hot even for shoes. It’s like walking the path to fiery hell. So, 30+ degrees, no beach, no pool (as no shade) and on an Island which isn’t usually frequented by holidaying tots left us literally weeping and googling flights back home again! Day 1 #holidayfail

However it did get much better with day 2.
Turns out all BV needed to chill out and have fun was steps (of course!) and ice cream. Which was great as that’s something Santorini has an abundance of…

Read on for Fam-A-Lamb’s Santorini highlights:
Continue reading “Santorini with a toddler”

Toddler Wanderlust

At some point in my life (a few years ago) I held an aspiration to write a travel blog.


I have travelled extensively over the years. I hoped to someday visit every single country. (Pfff I can but dream). I’ve great memories (and great pics) to remind me how breathtaking and beautiful the world is. I am fortunate that I’ve been able to experience it’s diversity.


Motherhood meant putting my plans for world domination to one side. My priorities changed, however now that BV’s practically fending for himself (22 months), Mr Intrepid and I are thinking about further travels.


In the interim (and to start us off gently) we’ve chosen a simple family holiday (well it’s primarily for a friends wedding so it’s kind of chosen us!) to Santorini.
I know what you’re thinking, “taking a toddler to the island of love and honeymooners…?” You must be mad! Well, my friends indeed we are.

After a bit of research, and finding blogs and articles that advise against taking toddlers to Santorini (especially in July-gulp) I’ve decided to (panic!) ignore it and hope nothing’s as bad as it seems 😳Watch this space for my follow up.

My 5 essentials to pack for a toddler in Santorini:

  1. Aeroplane distraction toys and snacks for the flight (standard)
  2. UV pop up tent and sun screen. Because obvs.
  3. Baby carrier (all them bastard steps!)
  4. Beach shoes. Hello! Hot Black Sand.
  5. Baby powder (rub it in and the sand brushes straight over. Genius)

It’s taken me 2 days to even make a bit of a dint in the packing and I’ve realised two things:

1) BV needs so much more crap then anyone else, and 2) he doesn’t get his own hold luggage so somehow I’ve got to squeeze it all in with mine.

I will definitely need a holiday after this.

Lindsay x

Start each day with a grateful heart ❤️

I recently stumbled across an article online that was written by a girl whom I no longer speak to, nor have seen for more than 10 years.

She was once in my original Girl Gang, a great friend throughout my teenage years. We went to school together, hung out together, partied together, and eventually lived together.

I cannot pinpoint where it all went wrong to be honest. One day we were great friends, the next we were not.

I decided to go travelling with my boyfriend which meant moving out of the flat we shared together. One day during my week of ‘packing up’ I came home from work and she had gone. It was a tricky time. The rest of the gang were still friends and for a while there was lots of nonsense floating about, “she said this, I did that, her friends did this, this happened…” You know what I mean, don’t you?  That’s often the down side of having a Girl Gang. When there’s trouble in paradise, girls are the worst for stirring it up. Especially teenage girls. We never spoke again and gradually over the years the rest of the gang spread out and followed new paths.

I did see her in a club once and tried to make friendly drunk conversation, but it never went past the ‘how are you’s..?’  We finished up on on bad terms and after all the things that were said, there was a grudge.

Anyway today, she popped up and for the first time in years I remembered her. Downtrodden. That’s the first word that came to mind when I thought of her. I knew her to be moody and negative. After reading her article, I’ve realised now she was just unhappy. I can’t believe now I didn’t realise that at the time. I let my own teenage angst rise above everything. How different we’ve become as adults? 

She has written a few books and they have been published. I am surprised, shocked even at her outlook at life, and the biggest surprise of all?  I’m not bitter, I am inspired. The article does her a great justice, her life is very different now. I am grateful that I paused to read it. She starts each day with a grateful heart. I cannot reconcile in my head, the person I once knew, with the positive person she is now. Despite the fact we are no longer friends, I am full of gratitude that our lives once crossed paths.

Lindsay X

Girl Gang – We is a sisterhood, innit?

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It has been 20 years since The Spice Girls released ‘Wannabe” (man I am old!) and I remember it well. Rumoured to have been written in just 20 minutes, it topped the UK Singles Chart for seven weeks, eventually becoming the best-selling single by a female group in the world, and selling over 7 million copies worldwide by the end of 1997. Wow.

The Spice Girls helped pave the way for us women ( I am not forgetting there were plenty of empowering, legendary women previously… but that’s a different story…). The Spice Girls were trailblazers of independence, assertiveness, ambition and sexuality. They knew the power of a sisterhood. They gave us Girl Power, and are the epitome of Girl Gang.

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I was part of a small clique whilst I was at school, back then I was the runt of the litter, adopted by a group of sassy girls after a few years of loneliness. They were my Girl Gang.

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We lived the 1990’s. We survived falling in a bog (you know who you are) on our Duke of Edinburgh Award, we sang our heart outs to Oasis and Pulp, and pretended we didn’t like Take That, we used fake ID’s to get into clubs (it’s rude to ask a lady her age!), and covered for each other with boys, parents and teachers! There was an unspoken agreement of support and unity. Despite spending all of the 1990s sat on a wall in the worlds tiniest mini skirts, we had each other’s backs.

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As an adult I’ve (without intent) formed a grown up Girl Gang. They don’t differ too much from the young girls I knew 2 decades ago. I’ve worked with them and lived with them, partied with them, cried with them, travelled with them and said goodbye to them. These women have supported me during relationship woes, carried me home drunk, carried me through the mud at Glastonbury (whilst 6 months pregnant) planned my hen party, been my bridesmaids, cooked me meals, ate my meals…. I’ve missed them and I’ve loved them. They keep me sane and focused, and wild and drunk (less so now I’m a mother-that would be irresponsible…) They do not all live in close proximity, and they are often busy but, I have them.

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I lost myself when I became a mum, I was lonely. I didn’t know how to combine my old life with this new one. Until now.

Last week I went for dinner with a group of mums in my local area. We are a local Facebook group, a Whatsapp group and a mum group. These women are beautiful and strong. I have gotten to know them in the last couple of years. Most of them are women I have met at coffee mornings and baby groups. They are all different. Some of us are women whose paths would never had crossed if we hadn’t become a mum at the same time. In some cases, it’s the only thing we have in common. As I sat there scoffing my face with pizza and red wine, listening to these women talk and laugh together, I looked around at these mums and I realised something. I am once again part of a girl gang.

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We can chat, or we can cry. Drink too much coffee, drink too much wine (hic!), talk about our husbands and our kids, talk about work or lack of it. We can bitch and vent, and laugh. Or we can simply just be (netflix and chill?). Sometimes theres a birthday or a playdate or a happy hour but always, its us, the Mum Gang.
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I am thankful for my Girl Gang . We are there for each other no matter what. Just like our 90’s sisters before us, we have each other’s back. ‘We is a sisterhood, innit?’ 🤘🏻

 

Lindsay x

 

 

Follow the hipsters and join the queue…

Growing up, I was such a fussy eater. I know I caused my mum endless embarrassment. Like when my dad regularly ordered “6 ’99’s’ and an ice lolly ” from the ice cream van…  I just really didn’t like ice cream (grew out of that phase, thank God), and our treat from the Chippy on holiday, “6 fish and chips, and a small ‘just chips’, no salt and vinegar on the ‘just chips’…” (obviously). My poor mum had to deal with all of the judgy strangers who convinced themselves I was being punished (“Poor kid-not getting a 99….”). Awkward.

My friends used to joke that if it had any flavour whatsoever, I wouldn’t like it, and to be honest, they were always right. Travelling the world has fixed me, so to speak. There are still many foods I have yet to ‘learn to like’ (Tuna – bleurgh!) but my taste buds are pretty much open for business these days.

An Ethiopian friend introduced me to Ethiopian and Eritrean food a long time ago. It’s one of my favourite cuisines.  In Ethiopia, mealtimes are big, happy social occasions, even during times of woe and hostility.
It’s an exciting cuisine, and it’s not meant to be eaten alone. Traditionally served on a communal platter, it’s ideal for sharing, and Injera is it’s foundation. Eat with your hands! Yummy!

(Omg, just writing this is making me foam at the mouth. I love Ethiopian food!)

Injera is made from an ancient grain known as teff. It’s ground into flour, made into a batter, slightly fermented, and then fried on a heavy skillet. The result is a spongy and lightly sour pancake.

Ethiopia is one of the worlds largest producers of live stock. Great for meat eaters, as the traditional meat dishes are delicious too. Just double up your injera as cutlery and tuck in.

I’m not a vegetarian, but what most people don’t know, is that Ethiopia also produces some of the best vegetarian food in the world. (Yep all true).

On that note let me by introduce a little gem I discovered recently:

…(drum roll please)….  Merkamo Ethiopian

An hour to chill and procrastinate?
Head to Merkamo for the Injera Plate
Vegan and healthy and packing a punch
Perfect for those looking for lunch
Professionals, students, tourists too
Follow the hipsters and join the queue
Greeted warmly with a great big smile
That alone, makes it worth all the while
Find them in Spitalfields, the bright green stand
The best Ethiopian food in the land.

Merkamo Ethiopian is A-Maz-Ing! The food is packed full of flavour and they’ve actually made Vegan food appealing!

Find them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/merkamolondon and follow them on Instagram @ethiopian.spitafields

They are open daily 12:00-17:00                                                                                                                   Old Spitalfields Market, E1 6EW

Enjoy!

Lindsay x

P.S You’re welcome

 

Labels Schmabels

I recently read a blog post by a lovely friend of mine. Stop with the labels! I am a Mother not a Mulberry!  It resonated with me on such a level that I feel like I need to respond.

I am proud too of labels I am known by: wife, daughter, sister, friend, weird tattooed girl with the metal in her face (true story!) and yes, a mother.

However, I am also proud to be that mother. I have judged, and I have been judged.

I am a ‘helicopter’ mum. I need to stay close to my boy, how else can I really know for sure that he is ok? I will smother him with love if that means he will grow up never doubting it.

I am a ‘sanctimummy’. Of course my way is the best way. It has to be like this. What kind of mum would this make me, if I had no idea what I’m doing? I may not be tutting, but I am judging. Myself though, obviously. If you think I have my shit together then I am winning at something. Woohoo.

I am a Tiger Mum. I am demanding. I want my child to grow up compassionate and smart, kind and strong. I want him to be all the things I strive to be, and I will push him until he knows he can be everything and more.

All of these labels are ways to judge and criticise but I am proud to have them all.
Mothering is hard and I’m winging it working at it…everyday. I am not a designer handbag, but I am in every sub category of mother, I am all of the mothers, and I am the mother, and I am fricking awesome.

Please follow Jenna’s posts here, and if you’re in need of some fellow mummy support or amazing pregnancy and birth hippy love, then here’s where you can find it! ❤️ www.doulanatal.co.uk

Lindsay x

And I Will Always Looovvveee EU….

One of the things I love about living in London (I know it’s Surrey now-but my heart belongs to London), is the diversity (and also the food!). So many different cultures walking and living side by side with each other. Walking down the street here, you could really could be in any City in the world. Everywhere I turn, there is Italian, French, or Greek. Not to mention our Non-EU friends Chinese, Indian, Mexican and Japanese, and I am not just talking about food.

It has been more than a week since our PM, David Cameron called the referendum. The Brexit referendum that sealed the fate for the entire continent. It should never have happened. The responsibility of the result rested on the British people.  We were not given enough information, and I for one did not feel educated enough.

Young Britons voted largely to remain, and it’s this multicultural generation that has lost it’s future.  In 20 years time, many of these Aged Britons whom voted overwhelmingly to leave (out of misplaced beliefs that this may reduce immigration or make us financially better off), will be dead. The consequences of their vote has left my son with an ambiguous future ahead.

The foreign-exchange markets tells us everything, we need to know about the financial implications. The consequences will not end here. The British vote will embolden Countries across Europe for similar referendums. Have you noticed how France still prints the French Franc conversion on all of their receipts? Trust me, they are ready to go at the drop of the hat.  It is only a matter of time before France will want its own referendum as I am sure, will Scotland. This is the beginning of the end.

Northern Ireland and Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.  It was England whom drove this result. The Leave campaign promoted the idea of a Global Britain one with more room for immigrants.  I am no politician but it is clear to me that this was a racist campaign that has only created further hostilities and a wary future ahead for my son.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe that all those who voted leave are racists but my Facebook news feed implies many are, and they have used this campaign as a platform to justify their beliefs and fist bump in racist glee.

We are now entering a world which will retreat from progress. One fuelled by mutual distrust, and nationalism. A world in which all those bridges are about to come tumbling down. I am grieving. The world as we know it, one of hope, equality and unity has changed forever.  After taking many steps forward, we have just taken one big step back.

England has surprised me and my heart is broken.`

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