From pop star to kid’s TV star: Milkshake’s Derek Moran
A DECADE ago, Derek Moran – one fifth of a popular boyband D-Side- blagged his way into a screen test for a children’s TV presenting job.
“A friend of mine said there’s this TV audition tomorrow for Milkshake,” he recalls, his enthusiastic Irish accent unmistakable to anyone with a child under six.
“And I was like what’s Milkshake, you know? So, I just phoned up. They asked me if I had a show reel and I said it was on VHS – which was a little white lie. And they said, ‘oh alright just come in tomorrow and screen test.’
“So, I went in the next day, which was Friday and they put me on the TV on the Monday. It was scary. But it was great.” Continue reading
From printmaking and classic cars to afternoon tea and outdoor cinema, here’s my pick of the best events in Essex this July.
Castaway… Northey Island
1 THE FLING FESTIVAL
Saturday, July 1. 12pm-11pm. £27.50
Hylands House, Hylands Park, London Road, Chelmsford
The annual Fling Festival is one of Essex’s top events exclusively for adults. The festival includes music, cabaret, theatre, comedy, immersive crafts, a silent disco, a fire garden, a punk poet, bars and plenty of food! This year the afternoon-into-night event, in the fabulous Hylands House and Estate surrounds, promises to be bigger and bolder than ever before.
For more information: www.flingfestival.com Continue reading
Father’s Day fun: Playing through the puking
What did Sonny Jim get his dada for Father’s Day? Norovirus. That’s what.
After having spent two nights puking, the little pickle (now thankfully on the mend) thought it only fair to share with his daddy – and me!
So, it hasn’t quite been the Father’s Day I wanted for Gary, though it’s probably not one he’ll forget and am sure he will remind Sonny Jim of when he’s bigger.
But anyway. Here’s what I wrote before projectile vomit hit my little family. And it’s even more true now. There’s nothing that will make you feel more like a daddy than cleaning sick off the cot. And the sofa. And the floor. While your puke-covered missus gives your child his third bath of the night. It’s not glam. It’s not fun. But it is love. Continue reading
Forget boring this Father’s Day, here’s my pick of the most perfect presents…
Personalised wood blocks, from £10 (including p&P), Wood Prints by Jo
Matching boy gang T-shirts, adult £22; child, 15, Essex Mama
Reasons I love you Daddy embroidered frame, £20, Girl Friday
1 Personalised wood blocks, from £10 (including p&P), Wood Prints by Jo: www.facebook.com/woodprintsbyjo
Personalised words, quotes and photos decoupaged on to chunky standalone blocks of wood by Thundersley-based Jo Fitzmauric. She then sands them twice to give a smooth, chic and rustic look!
2 Matching boy gang T-shirts, adult £22; child, 15, Essex Mama: www.essexmama.co.uk
Essex Mama was started by a full-time mama from north Essex – all tops are made to order and designed to promote good vibes, togetherness and empowerment.
3 Reasons I love you Daddy embroidered frame, £20, Girl Friday: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/GirlFridayEmbroidery
This super cute 24cm X 24cm freehand embroidered picture frame by Hockley’s Dawn Friday, features your little one’s favourite thing about their daddy. Continue reading
New mum Maria Fowler: Top beauty tip for mums? Apply a daily moisturiser that has a gradual self tan
What and where is your favourite Essex beauty salon/spa?
I used to love Beaus and Belles in Buckhurst Hill and Lifehouse Spa in Colchester
What one beauty product/tool could you not live without?
What’s the biggest beauty mistake you’ve ever made?
I think probably drawing my eyebrows on a bit too much when I was younger!
Has your beauty regime changed over the past decade?
Definitely. I take much more care of my skin now. And in terms of makeup I would say I have advanced a lot and learnt so many tricks to enhance my features.
And how has your beauty regime changed since you’ve become a mum?
It’s become a lot more rushed! I don’t get half the time I used to, to get ready to go out, so if I do get a bit more time then it’s a real treat! Continue reading
Here’s a frightening fact, suicide is the leading direct cause of death for mums within the first year after their child is born, a recent report showed.
One in seven of the women who died during pregnancy or up to a year after giving birth killed themselves, according to data compiled by MBRRACE-UK.
Which is why – this Mental Health Awareness Week – I’m so excited about Lobella Loves’ Notes of Hope campaign.
The new online destination for the most beautiful baby and toddler brands has teamed up with Cocoon Family Support, a charity supporting families suffering from pre and postnatal mental health issues. Continue reading
You probably won’t remember me. Though I’m sure there’s no such thing as a typical birth, my little boy’s was happily uneventful in the medical sense. There was no real drama. He was safely delivered just as your shift was ending, after a fairly long labour. He was healthy. And I was well. There was and is no real reason for you to remember me.
But we will never forget you.
Larissa. I’m sorry, I can’t remember your surname. It’s on the record of Sonny Jim’s birth, along with his weight and time he was born. That record is tucked away in a little memory box in his bedroom.
But anyway. Larissa. I first met you when you came on shift that morning. I’d already been in hospital for a few hours. I was, if I’m honest, just starting to get a bit panicked by all this giving birth malarkey. I was in pain. I felt out of control. I wasn’t sure I could actually do it anymore. Continue reading