You know you’re a mother to a toddler when…

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydiduk

A proper toddler: Sonny Jim

Sonny Jim is still a good few months off the terrible twos yet, but it seems he’s starting early.

A tantrum in a café when I wouldn’t let him lay on the floor to watch the ceiling fan (honestly, the boy loves anything that spins) got me thinking that you know you’re a mama to a toddler when…

1 You think nothing of sticking a half-eaten banana in your coat pocket. And you only remember it’s there when you go to put another in.

2 The cold leftovers of your little one’s dinner? You totally eat them.

3 While you spent the first months of your tot’s life sterilising EVERYTHING, now you’re all about the five (make that 30) second rule. Continue reading

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Lest we forget: What to do with your poppy

Poppy, Remembrance Sunday, what to do with your poppy, #WhatKatyDidUK

Not just for November 11: Putting your poppy on your tree will keep our armed forces in your thoughts over Christmas too

So, Remembrance Sunday has been and gone. Armistice Day commemorations have been marked with a two-minute silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

I imagine your poppy is still pinned to your lapel, your coat, or your bag… but as the week closes, what will you do with it? Keep it there, until battered by the elements, it falls off? Will you throw it away? Or stick it in a drawer, forgotten about in the muddle of pens and receipts and long-ago-written notes?

Well, if you’re keen to do something more, here’s a custom I started more than a decade ago, when my poppy fell to the floor of our little cottage.

Continue reading

Saltwater Beach Cafe is a healthy haven for all the family

Saltwater beach cafe, Essex, Chalkwell

Just beachy: Chalkwell’s Saltwater Cafe

For more than 100 years, beach goers in Chalkwell have stopped off for a bite to eat or a cuppa at a cafe perched on the edge of the sands.

The pit stop, in Chalkwell Esplanade, even predates the railway station, whose bridge it is nestled beneath.

Now, in its newest incarnation as Saltwater Beach Café, it’s fast becoming the town’s most cherished beach-side bistro, loved by celebs like Essex’s Lee Mead, thanks to the Carr family.

The family took over the café in February, and after a complete renovation, opened their (bi-folding glass) doors in time for the first bank holiday in April. Continue reading

Rubbish things no one tells you about IVF

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK

Worth it all: My Sonny Jim

The first IVF baby was conceived on this day, 40 years ago (#IVFis40).

To mark the (rather amazing!) milestone, as a mama of an IVF tot, here are some rubbish things no one ever tells you about it…

  • If you are a needle-phobe, it will either break you – or cure you.

By my reckoning, one cycle of IVF probably involves you getting stabbed about 70 times (in your belly, your thigh, in your bum cheek.) A lot of them you’ll have to do yourself, or get your other half to do. You’ll even have a special yellow toxic-waste sharps bin – like actual drug addicts on TV. Continue reading

My chat with… Scouting for Girls’ Pete Ellard

Scouting for Girls, #whatkatydidUK, Katy Pearson

Nicest guys in rock? Scouting for Girls (c) Danny North

BEFORE heading on stage at Southend’s Cliff Pavilion later this month, Scouting for Girls will partake in their usual pre-gig ritual.

But it turns out when it comes to this little ceremony, the lads, who have been at the top of their game for ten years now, are not exactly rock and roll.

“I should probably say that we work out, that we do some jogging and do some bench pressing and all that…” laughs drummer Pete Ellard, when we caught up ahead of their new tour. Continue reading

Mummy guilt is here to stay. And I’m okay with that…

Sonny Jim, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydidUK

Guilt inducing: My Sonny Jim

Before I had Sonny Jim, guilt was something I felt every once in a while.

You know, when a hangover meant that I wasn’t on great form at lunch with my folks. Or when I realised it was my BFF’s birthday and her pressie was still on my table. Not posted and on her doorstep as it should be.

Since having a baby though, it seems as well as delivering a 7lb 6.5oz boy, I also birthed mummy guilt.

No one warned me that along with the sleepless nights, the teething and the unimaginable love, there would be this never-ending fear of not being good enough. Continue reading

Recipes: Fireworks’ Night fodder

Radish Bloody Mary, #whatkatydidUK

Bottom’s up: Radish Bloody Marys

These delicious recipes will make sure that the fireworks aren’t the only thing to go off with a bang this Bonfire Night…

Radish Bloody Mary

A delicious Bloody Mary recipe complete with retro celery sticks and the requisite balance of fresh and bold flavours. This can be made to taste depending on your guest.

The addition of the radish rubbing shoulders with the lime presents a really effective new twist to a classic drink.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 5 minutes

You’ll need: Continue reading