My little love: Sonny Jim snoozes
One of the things I’ve found since becoming a mummy, is parenthood seems to have a unique ability to stir up emotions that you thought were long suppressed or gone.
When I was little, I had a bit of a bad spell with bullying.
It was a horrid time. Which hugely shaped the woman I became and my outlook on life. Yet it’s not something as an adult that I’ve particularly dwelt on.
Then I had my baby.
And I don’t know if it’s the overwhelming love you feel that basically shakes loose every other emotion you’ve ever had. Or whether it’s the new and massive responsibility that makes you question every decision you’ve made. Or if it’s just the burning desire not to ever, ever, let down that most precious bundle that’s been entrusted into your care.
Whatever it is, it certainly opens the floodgates on your feelings. Continue reading
Vegan: From kitchens to salons
IN the past decade, the number of people who consider themselves vegan has rocketed from 150,00 in 2006 to 542,000, according to the Vegan Society and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
And it’s also becoming a growing trend among our celebrities, with the likes of comedian Russell Brand saying “I don’t see why someone should lose their life just so you can have a snack”. A vegetarian since the age of 14, he went vegan in 2011.
It’s no surprise then, that veganism is now stretching from our kitchen tables to our beauty regimes.
Superdrug’s budget B Beauty vegan range has just launched and the Body Shop, Odylique and Hourglass are just a few of the brands with entirely vegan make-up ranges.
Now Essex’s Beauty Shop is among a handful of the county’s businesses capitalising on the trend, by offering a unique vegan beauty treatment menu.
So how did the idea for the menu come about, I ask salon owner, 26-year-old Courtney Smith? Continue reading
Hang-up free: Sonny Jim
A massive part of being a parent is spent (obviously) trying to teach your little ones how to be decent people. It’s the main reason (aside from trying to keep them alive!) mums of toddlers seem to spend almost their entire waking hours repeating things like “no”, “ta, say ta”, “it’s good to share, remember?”
But watching Sonny Jim, I’m increasingly beginning to think that us grown ups could actually learn a thing or two from our youngsters. Here are some of them…
They have no issue saying no
So much of adult life is spent doing things we would rather not being doing, simply because we feel bad saying no. Toddlers have no problem making it quite clear that they don’t want to do something/eat something/go somewhere.
Forget body hang-ups
Ask Sonny Jim where his tummy is, and he will proudly remove any item of clothing covering it to show you it. And when does wiggling your squishy bum and dancing become something only to be done after copious amounts of wine? Continue reading
Yum: Mince pie cheesecake
Oh hello Advent! Look, let’s be frank, the chances of me actually finding the time to make this myself are slim to none (have you ever tried Christmas shopping with a toddler?!)
But. It looks gorgeous. So I’m sharing it in the hope someone who isn’t about to spend the next month telling a one-year-old to Stop. Touching. Those. Baubles. will feel inspired.
• 150g Digestive biscuits
• 75g Butter
• 900g Full fat cream cheese
• 200g Caster sugar
• 200ml Sour cream
• 45g Plain flour
• 2 Large Eggs
• 1 Egg Yolk
• ½ tbsp. Vanilla Essence
• 200g Mincemeat
Basildon hero: Max Whitlock
With eleven medals and four titles in Olympic and world championships, Max Whitlock, who trains in Basildon, is the UK’s most successful ever gymnast. He here chats marriage, burgers and BTECs…
Where’s your favourite place in Essex?
I can’t not pick the gym. Obviously I train in Basildon and I have done for 12 years. So it’s been a long time that I’ve been there [Basildon Sporting Village, Carnes Farm Road] and it’s literally like my second home. I love being in that gym with all my teammates because there’s a great atmosphere and it’s a very rare situation where you get two year olds and three year olds training alongside our elite group.
What is your earliest memory?
I remember doing a lot of handstand competitions in the gym! I was always literally walking on my hands everywhere. But the first competition, I think this really spurred me on and the one that really stands out to me, must have been when I was about nine years old–ish. I came back with seven medals and that really pushed me as a youngster to want some more. Continue reading
Pregnant: Just days before Sonny Jim was born
When I was pregnant with Sonny Jim, I spent (almost) the entire time fretting that something would go wrong.
I refused to let anyone buy me anything baby-related until I was at least 24 weeks along. We didn’t decorate the nursery until only a few weeks before his due date.
I shunned all soft cheeses (and I LOVE soft cheese) I didn’t eat prawns (again, one of my very favourite things) and touched about half a flute of Prosecco the entire time.
As an IVF pregnancy, it was automatically classed as high risk. But my pregnancy was totally textbook and drama free. He even helpfully arrived six days early, sparing me from a swift induction.
Even still, there were so many things you were not supposed to do and were told to avoid it sometimes felt overwhelming. Continue reading
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