Cigarettes and Calpol

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

Sleepyhead – a skeptic’s review


You never realise how great it is until you don’t have it.

And as soon as you become a parent you realise you’ll probably never have enough of it again.

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Sixteen Million Voices – Mental Health Awareness Week

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.

A week I see great importance in, every one of us has mental health, it is not reserved for the people with diagnoses. Everybody needs to find ways to take better care of their own mental health – finding ways to destress, to cope with life experiences that may make them feel anxious or down, and to understand their own mental health.

Today I was supposed to be launching a new part to the blog – Sixteen Million Voices,  unfortunately due to everything that has been going on with Instagram, having to spend more time than I care to admit speaking to PRs to apologise for pulling out of campaigns, and having something of a mental health crisis myself – it just hasn’t happened.

I can only apologise for that.

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Just Block Them

‘Just ignore them.’
‘Block and move on.’
‘They’re just jealous’
‘Chin up.’
‘Name and shame the pricks!’
‘One in a thousand isn’t worth getting upset over.’

Just a snippet of the messages I’ve received over the past 24 hours. Yesterday I nearly cried on Instagram stories because I’d again been on the receiving end of a barrage of abuse relating to my parenting ability. This time it was because I posted a photo of Fox on my lap, mid-breakdown, while I was trying to get my work done (that’s already two weeks overdue). I captioned it that I would kill for a nursery drop-off and an office job. This, of course, makes me a shit mum.

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Royally ‘Real’

Another royal baby! I for one love it, I’m a big fan of the young royals, it’s bloody lovely.

If you’ve been outside/online/alive for the past 24 hours you will have heard all about the new little prince. You’ll also probably have seen photos of William, Kate and their new bundle on the steps of the Lindo Wing. And you’ll almost certainly have read the opinions.

This post isn’t about the royal family. It’s not about Kate. It’s not about the baby. It’s about the judgemental language being thrown around the internet. And no, not by the Daily Mail.

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A Nonsensical Ramble on #AD.

Hashtag Ad.

Two words that seem to have the power to divide the whole of Instagram.

I’ve been having a bit of a crisis of conscious over the whole thing recently, on one hand I don’t want to push away the very people who have given me this platform – my followers, but on the other hand I spend a lot of time creating content and writing and occasionally a few quid for it would be nice.

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Motherhood Misery

There’s always been competition in parenting. I remember when TI was born it was all about who’s babies were hitting the milestones first. Baby Tommy might have crawled first but did you know baby Lucy could already speak three languages by nine months?!

When parenting blogs first started taking off they became the antithesis to this, they served as a big middle finger to the competitive mums. They reminded us that there’s so much more to life than trying to convince the rest of your NCT group that your baby is the best. They all walk eventually, who gives a shit who was first (if you ask me the longer they can’t move, the better)?

Recently the competition seems to have shifted, it’s no longer about who’s baby is best, it’s who’s baby is worse…

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Mexican Breakfast

This is our absolute favourite weekend breakfast (excluding chicken and waffles but that takes far too long!) and it’s so easy to do. It’s the perfect hangover cure and really great to do for bigger groups as well as just two.

It’s pretty spicy (you can obviously add more/less chilli as suits you) and if you’ve got someone who’s being a wimp throw some sour cream at them and tell them to fem up.

It goes well with beer too. When that hangover is really bad.

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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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