Cigarettes and Calpol

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



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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What to Buy The Person Who Has Everything…


Yep, you read that right.


Our obsession for buying gifts for the sake of buying gifts needs to change. It’s a waste of money, a waste of resources, and a waste of time.

Gifts should be something they truly want or need. We all know the feeling of seeing something utterly perfect for a loved one, and we all know the feeling of frantically trawling shops for something and settling on whatever. One of those feelings is much nicer for the gift giver. We’ve also all been on the receiving end of a gift that clearly wasn’t thought through. It’s pretty awkward.

So instead of panic buying another Soap & Glory gift set or a DVD of Michael McIntyre’s latest standup, take a step back and consider giving them nothing.

I’ve put together an alternative Christmas list to help you give nothing, while still giving something.

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Child-free and Full of Questions – Pregnancy

When I shared my post about the first trimester I had a lot of women who hadn’t had children messaging me with comments and questions and ‘oh my god is it really that bad?!’s. I realised that I have a lot of readers who aren’t parents, so I decided to start a new mini series of questions they want to know the answers to – the weirder, grosser, and more intrusive – the better!

First up we’re talking pregnancy!

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A Bad Day

Today has been a really shit day.

It’s been one of those days where my child has been an arsehole at every turn and I’ve run out of ways to try and discipline her. It’s been one of those days where I’ve totally questioned my ability to parent and therefore have been sent into a spiral of self-hate and my little ball of anxiety has burst.

Crying on her bedroom floor while trying to change her bedding was probably the lowest point.

It’s one of those days that no Instagram filter could fit and there’s no way of trying to make it look perfect, but also why should I? Why do we feel the need to hide the bits of parenting that hurt and are exhausting and leave you feeling like a shit? It’s the reality. We share everything else so why not this? So I am sharing it, lucky you, you get to read my woes.

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Nasty Words, Lasting Impression

On New Year’s Day I received a pretty nasty message on Twitter. I’ve been on Twitter a long time and have received my fair share of abuse on the website; I’ve been called a freeloading tart for taking maternity pay (we’ll discuss that one another day), been sent many an unsolicited dick pic, and of course immediately become a fat whore because I didn’t find myself weak at the knees from a man’s advances.

But this time was different, this time felt a little more personal.

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Too Small for School?

First day of school.
Daunting, emotional, painful, heart-wrenching, guilt-inducing, exciting, really bloody difficult.

No matter how much people love to mock it, the day your little one first ventures into Big School is hard on children and parents alike. I remember how I felt when I went through it last year and this week thousands of people across the country have had to go through the same pain of letting go of their hand.

The pain, guilt, and trepidation that parents across the country have felt this week are why the latest Clarks campaign has me raging.

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I didn’t know whether to do this post or not, or really where I wanted to go with it. But I do know that the year just passed has held the most changes, the most hardships, and the most wonderful moments of any I can remember (except maybe when I was eight and Geri left the Spice Girls just after I got her bloody doll).
Continue reading “2015”

Party for one

Do me a favour, jump up and turn on E4 quickly. There’s some American sitcom on, right? Might be a good one, probably be a bad one; one thing I can guarantee is that it’s based around a group of friends who are completely inseparable. This is the kind of friendship group we have thrust upon us by every TV show and movie. Sex and the City, Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, Entourage even bloody Tracy Beaker; all of them based around a seemingly unbreakable group of friends.
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70 Things Worse than Heartbreak

  1. Standing on an upturned plug.
  2. Crumbs in the bed.
  3. Going to eat the second half of your Twix and realising you already have.
  4. Dropping the handle of your cutlery in your food.
  5. Accidental Insta-stalk liking.
  6. Settling in for a Netflix marathon and only having one episode left.
  7. Having flat hair in every photo from a night out.
  8. Kale.

Continue reading “70 Things Worse than Heartbreak”

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