Confession: I haven’t always liked play-dates

I feel like this is a shameful thing to admit, a dirty secret I've managed to keep hidden through seven and a half years of motherhood. But the thing is, I haven't always liked play-dates. Hear me out. In the early baby days play-dates were OK, until the baby started crying, which could be any sodding time. I have memories of countless "play-dates" walking up and down with a screaming baby, apologising, while other babies gurgled serenely, smiling up at their mothers who were peacefully drinking hot cups of tea. Sometimes a play-date went well. Bouyed with enthusiasm I'd line up ten ... read more

Break out of your casting

I ran 12km today. I've never been the type of person to run 12km. I've never been the type of person to run 1km, to be honest. But then, I'm not sure how much of this is what I've told myself I'm capable of and how much of it is what I actually know about myself. Don't worry, this isn't a post about running. While I'm plodding along the country lanes I like to listen to podcasts. One of my favourites is The Guilty Feminist with Deborah Frances-White. On one of the epidsodes Jessica Regan, was telling her story of auditioning for parts as an actress and finding herself cast in similar ... read more

A weird breastfeeding hangover

I mentioned in my last post that for the first time in a long time my ovaries don't do that familiar lurch when I see a newborn. This is probably largely because, at the moment, I'm feeling incredibly touched out. When I'm with my three year old there aren't many moments when she isn't touching, or asking to touch me. We stopped breastfeeding three months ago but she's still as obsessed with my boobs as ever. It's like a weird breastfeeding hangover. She's not quite ready to give them up completely - still needs to get  her fix somewhere without going cold turkey. Sometimes it's cute. ... read more

Bathroom cleaning hacks: how to keep your bathroom spotless when you have children

If you're a parent you'll how difficult (or often impossible) it is to keep the house spotless when you have small children. For me, the bathroom is top of the list of black-spots in the house and seems to be the source of a never-ending battle with grime. There are a few things that help keep the gross stuff at bay though, so if you're looking for quick and easy cleaning hacks for the bathroom then read on... ... read more

Baby’s nursery checklist – and not feeling broody

Two of my lovely friends have recently had babies. They are beautiful. I've loved sniffing their little heads and feeling their tiny fingers wrap around my thumb. But this is the first time in a while that I've been able to soak up the gorgeousness of a newborn without feeling that familiar lurch of the ovaries telling me I want one of my own. I was looking back at some old photos the other day, remembering the special time just before Effie was born, when I threw myself into decorating her nursery. I loved selecting the nursery furniture set and pulling the room together. Most places ... read more

You are what you earn – lessons in self-confidence, motherhood and money

They say money can't buy happiness but they're wrong. While I have no doubt the big things aren't commodities you can purchase (meaningful relationships, inner peace, contentment etc), I also know that having enough money for the basics does, unquestionably, make life less stressful. It's easy to say "money doesn't buy happiness" when you've never had to worry about where your next meal is coming from. But where's the line between basics and luxuries? And what's the link between how much you earn and how good you feel about yourself? This is where money lessons and parenting get tricky, in ... read more

Where to Instagram in Bath

Every year since Effie was born my mum's taken Freya and I on a girls-only trip somewhere. Back when Effie was a tiny baby and Freya was four we went to nearby Exeter for the day to watch a play and have lunch. We did the same the following year and then, last year, ventured further to Bristol. This year our January trip took us to Bath for the weekend, which is officially the most Instagrammable city in the entire universe. Fact. Seriously though, Bath is so pretty. Growing up in Bristol I used to spend quite a bit of time in Bath. It's where my Dad worked and at one point I used to hang ... read more

Five things to beat Blue Monday

So apparently Monday 15th January is going to be the most depressing day of the year. Well you know what I say? Balls to that. My mindset this January is completely different to previous Januarys. This might have a lot to do with the fact I've decided to ignore the "New Year New Diet" culture, but I also think it's down to discovering five new things this month which are helping to make me happy (not just wine). All of these items are low on cost but big on self-indulgence. I like to view them as "comfy mindfulness" tools which make me feel looked after in various different ways. So far ... read more

“New year new diet” and other damaging things we tell our kids

This post is a week late but forgive me, I was eating Christmas leftovers. Last night we found two Chocolate Oranges on top of the cupboard, bought for the girls' stockings but forgotten. We shared one between the four of us. It was delicious. I felt no guilt. Today I went for a run, my first of 2018. As I was plodding along, listening to a podcast (The Guilty Feminist - highly recommend), I was aware of my hips jiggling, my thighs rubbing together in the middle of each step, my chin shaking a bit each time my foot hit the ground. There is more to me since a month ago. More flesh, more ... read more

Snapshots of Christmas 2017

I think the fact this post is over a week late is testament to what a great Christmas we had. Two days into 2018 and I've finally got round to looking back at some of the photos I took on the day itself which are, like all previous Christmas photos, chaotic, excited and slightly frantic - just like the day itself. This wasn't the post I was going to write today but it feels wrong to march into 2018 without a nod to the brilliant way the year ended. Christmas is always such a huge build up and often so full of stress that when things go right there's not only a massive feeling of ... read more