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Cigarettes and Calpol

Attempting to make sense of parenthood, life, love, and my own mind.

Christmas Dinner Perfection

Last week I was very lucky to attend a roast dinner cookery class at Leith’s in London courtesy of Buster, yep, the plughole unblocker. Might not be the most glamourous brand but it’s bloody useful! (Especially when you have long, constantly shedding hair like me!)

I like to think I know my way around a roast dinner, but I learnt some tips that blew. my. mind. and have upped my roast game to eleven. Christmas dinner can be a bloody stressful affair (last year our electric shorted and sent the burglar alarm into tamper mode…) so I thought I’d share some of the things I learnt (and some things I already utilise) to try and make Christmas at least a tiny bit less stressful for those of you who are cooking. (This isn’t in order of cooking, I’m not that helpful, it’s just a list of tips.)

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SmarTrike 400 – do we love it?

We were super lucky to be gifted a SmarTrike 400 a few months ago, and have spent the past few months really putting it to the test. I’ve always been a bit dubious about push-along trikes, it seemed a little bit unnecessary and just more Stuff to trip over at 6am, but we’ve used it so much and Fox loves it.

A few of you have asked how we’ve been getting on with it so it seemed like a good time to let you know…

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Filters and Fakery

If you follow me on Instagram (if not, why not?!) you will have seen a recent conversation about face filters and their damaging effect on our self-esteem.

This isn’t about editing a photo to enhance them. It’s not about bunging a filter over the top to keep with your style. This is about editing to the point of it no longer being you.

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Birthday Dread

Tomorrow’s my birthday. Hold off on the confetti and party poppers, I’m not really one for celebrating the day of my birth. In fact I usually find the whole day a bit of a shitter on my mental health.

I never used to be like this. I was fully in the ‘BIRTHDAY MONTH’ team. Throughout September my Facebook memories are an embarrassing reminder of how much I used to demand attention, presents, and multiple celebrations. Now I’d rather people just ignore it (which many will because I haven’t told them it’s coming up and it’s too late to send cards now suckers!).

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The Non-Stop Battle

Mental health is a non-stop battle. For me anyway.

I’m in a much better place right now than where I have been. Thanks in massive part to going back on medication. But that doesn’t mean I’m fixed, or even close to.

The past few weeks have been a huge test on me mentally, emotionally, and personally. For a lot of reasons that I’m not about to go into on here.

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‘Talk About It…’

Talk about it. The responsibility is on you.
Talk about it. So we can shift the blame.
Talk about it. An easy retweet that helps my guilt.
Talk about it. But only if you fit the ‘right’ image.
Talk about it. But only if it won’t make people uncomfortable.
Talk about it. But only if you’re willing to show you’re trying.
Talk about it. Once you’re recovering.
Talk about it. Make sure there’s a catchy hashtag.
Talk about it. As long as you’re white, straight, and middle class.
Talk about it. But not too much, you’re just attention seeking.

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Leopallooza – The Family Festival for YOU

Being a fallow year for a certain, fairly well-known festival, a lot of us have all but forgotten the urge to hang out in a field, hair crusty with dry shampoo, sipping on a 8am cider. But instead of taking a year off, we should be using this summer as the perfect excuse to discover what other great festivals are out there.

For me there’s only one festival I would spend my time encouraging you to go to; whether you’re after a weekend of drinking warm Jäger in a tent with your mates, want somewhere you can take your kids and know they won’t be bored for a second, or are after something somewhere in between I can guarantee Leopallooza is the festival you’re after.

(In case you can’t be bothered to read the whole thing, there’s a competition at the end of this… it’s a good one.)

CREDIT MATTHEW HAWKEY_201 (1).jpg
📸 – Matthew Hawkey

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ErgoPouch – the sleeping bag with legs

I find blog reviews something really difficult to write, I’m not sure my style lends perfectly to QVC style pitches. But when I have been gifted something I do like I want to try and talk about it, it’s only fair right?!

I have only ever sleeping bags on both my kids, they’re both fidgets in their sleep and if I was to try blankets on them as babies I would wake up to tiny little ice pops through the winter. So when ErgoPouch got in touch and wanted to send me one of their Sleep Suit Bags obviously I said yes! (We have this one)

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Fog.

The past couple of months I’ve been in a deep depression. My body and mind have felt completely numb and while I’ve spent hours each day crying it’s been out of frustration, not sadness.

Reality is blurred at the best of times when you’re depressed.
I shut myself away and convince myself that’s for the best anyway, because nobody would want to see me or talk to me. I’m a waste of space. But add to that a forum full of strangers discussing you, debating your relationship, discussing your children, questioning your morals… that’s a reality that a depressed brain doesn’t know what to do with. That it can’t let go of.

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