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Cigarettes and Calpol

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

Kawasaki Disease awareness

Today is Kawasaki Disease Awareness Day.

I hadn’t heard of Kawasaki Disease until Lucy from The Kawasaki Kid contacted me a while back, and I’m really glad she did. Recognising the symptoms could be the difference between life and death for your child and if caught early enough the affect it has on your child can hopefully be reduced.

I asked Lucy if she would share her and her gorgeous son Stanley’s story here, so more of us can understand what to look out for and what living with Kawasaki looks like for the children who have it.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

I have never had so many requests for a recipe, which is pretty bloody flattering!

This was the first time I’ve made a soup from the leftovers of a roast, and I will be doing it every time from now on. It’s so easy and so tasty – plus any saving on waste is a win in my eyes!

You could definitely whack the stock on in the slow cooker over night to save you some effort the next day.

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Our 2017

Remember when we were sure 2017 would be a better year than 2016? Idiots. For the world it’s been another bastard of a year! But personally, it’s been pretty fucking awesome! There’s been shit bits too, of course there has, is there such a thing as a perfect year? No. No there is not.

I’m not one for New Year New Me, resolutions, or the expectation of the first of January bringing an answer to all of life’s woes. Any crap you had in your life on December 31st has a habit of following you through to January, it takes more than a new diary to fix your life (but while we’re here can we talk about how satisfying filling out a new diary is?!). I do however love a New Year as a time of reflection, a time to think back at what you’ve achieved over 12 months, to focus on what you did right and what you did wrong. Give thanks to the people who made your year what it was, reflect on the people that left.

For me, that’s done best with photos.

Another 12 months, another lifetime of memories. I’ve collected a few of my highlights, slightly show off, slightly to give myself the warm and fuzzies!

Come with us now on a journey through time and space…

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Signing Off

Christmas always messes with my mental health. There’s so much to do, so much pressure and expectation, so much insistence that you must. have. fun. It always sends me into a bit of a downward spiral. This year we’re hosting too so that’s a whole other level of stress.

This combined with the fact I’m still trying to get my brain straight post-natally isn’t the best combination, and honestly I’ve found myself in a pretty dark place.

Usually talking honestly online would help this, however the past few days on Instagram have been horrendous and have sent me further down that spiral. So I’m walking away for a bit, for my own sake.

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Father Christmas at Avon Valley

When we moved to Bristol one of the things I was genuinely worrying about was the change in our traditions, especially at Christmas. Christmas Eve gingerbread house construction with my best friends and their smalls, freezing cold walks on the beach, sneaking out for too many shandies with friends. Our visit to Father Christmas was one tradition we were set to.

Every year since TI’s been big enough to know what it’s all about we’ve been to visit Father Christmas at The Eden Project, we absolutely love it and had no idea how to come close this year. But we definitely managed it!

I was contacted by the lovely Lizzie at Avon Valley Adventure & Wildlife Park who invited us to the Christmas Experience to meet Father Christmas, and we loved every minute of it!

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What to Buy The Person Who Has Everything…

Nothing.

Yep, you read that right.

Nothing. 

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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Things That Make Me Weirdly Happy…

Ok, to counteract my last post and to prove I’m not always a negative Nancy (I am, but I’m making an effort to not be) I thought long and hard and found 35 things that make me happy, despite often being pretty weird…

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Things That Irrationally Annoy Me…

If ever people wonder why I lost all my followers, show them this post. Because I guarantee there’s something to annoy everybody.

Equal opportunity offender me.

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‘Me Too’

Today I went on a ramble on my Instagram stories which I have since deleted as I made no sense and no point. I’m not good at getting my ideas across verbally, I have to write it down. I do it with arguments, with apologies, with important phone calls.

I’m a writer, not a talker. Always have been.

I was talking about the Me Too discussion that’s been dominating social media. If you haven’t seen it (where have you been?) women who have ever been sexually harassed or sexually assaulted, to any level, are sharing the simple phrase ‘me too’.

At first glance this seemed like a simple, accessible movement, that would allow us to try and share just how wide the impact of male sexual dominance and force is across the board. It is showing the world that no matter who you are, you have probably been the victim of sexual abuse, verbally or physically, and probably from a man.

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