Long wait: Me pregnant with my Sonny Jim
Today one of my best friends is having her baby shower. I’m really looking forward to it…which is a new thing for me.
Pre-Sonny Jim, when I was struggling to fall pregnant, one of the things I found most tough was going to baby showers.
When you’ve been trying for a baby for years, have undergone a load of fertility treatment and nothing seems to be working, spending an afternoon looking at teeny tiny babygrows is painful. Continue reading
Essex girl: Bestselling author, Martina Cole (c) Charlotte Murphy
She has been writing bestsellers for 25 years and has achieved sales of over fourteen million in the UK alone. Here Martina Cole chats Essex girls, cockle sheds and loving bad boys…
WHAT IS YOUR SECRET VICE?
Emmerdale! On my life I have to watch Emmerdale, because of Cain Dingle. I’m trying to get up an online petition that he has to take his shirt off in every episode. Whether it will happen we don’t know but we can only hope. My other secret vice is I go to Leigh cockle sheds some times. When my daughter was very little I used to take her down the cockle sheds – she was six months old when she had her first jellied eel. And I still love it down there.
WHEN ARE YOU AT YOUR HAPPIEST?
I think when I’m with my grandchildren probably now, coz I’m getting on a bit. I do travel extensively though.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN ESSEX?
There’s so many to choose from, but one of my favourite places is the Boatyard in Leigh. It’s beautiful. Great food. I used to live on Benfleet Road. It was beautiful. It was like a footballer’s wife’s house. Had an indoor swimming pool, the lot. I loved it. When I moved over to Kent my daughter thought we’d gone poor. She said to me, Mummy have we gone poor, and I said not really, no! Continue reading
Spookalicious: Strawberry ghosts
Oooo the nights are drawing in and shadows are getting longer. All Hallow’s Eve is creeping closer so here are two recipes to really make the most of the season…
Halloween Strawberry Ghosts
Serves: makes 10
Preparation time: 20 minutes plus chilling time
- 200g White Chocolate
- 10 Strawberries
- Small tube of black icing
What to do: Continue reading
A cut too far – I have my boy because of IVF on the NHS
ESSEX is within in touching distance of being the worst region in the country for access to IVF on the NHS.
Three Essex CCGs have already removed all provision of NHS IVF (Basildon and Brentwood, North East Essex, and mid-Essex.) West Essex is set to do the same.
And Southend? Well the CCG is looking to stop all NHS provision here too.
Currently eligible couples are offered two partial NHS-funded IVF cycles. About 50 people unable to have children any other way are helped here yearly – costing the NHS about £200,000.
IVF is silly expensive to have privately. Do you have a spare £8,000 (minimum) to blow on a single cycle with no guaranteed baby at the end? I don’t.
But it’s not a done deal yet. Southend CCG is consulting until October 26. And it’s so important you make sure your voice is heard. Continue reading
Bestseller: Tom Gates author Liz Pichon
Author Liz Pichon is something of a superstar in the world of children’s books.
More than three million copies of her bestselling Tom Gates series have sold in the UK alone, with all the books being no 1 bestsellers and all translated into more than 50 languages.
Her latest Tom Gates book, Epic Adventure (kind of) is out TODAY and to celebrate mum-of-three Liz, 54, is bringing her Tom Gates Brilliant Bands and Doodle Tour to Southend later this month.
Click here for your chance to win a signed copy of Tom Gates Epic Adventures (kind of) by Liz Pichon
But being an author is the last thing that Liz, who is dyslexic, ever thought she would be.
Just how have her struggles with dyslexia impacted on her life, I wonder? Continue reading
Mums Helping Mums: Rachel Stevens’s Flourless Chocolate Mini Cakes
Tilda Rice is partnering with the World Food Program (again!) and donating a meal for every bag of Pure Basmati Dry (5kg, 1kg) and TSB sold in the UK to new and expectant mums in Bangladesh.
To support the campaign, celebrities and influencers have donated recipes to create the Mums Helping Mums cookbook, which can be downloaded at tilda.com
But to get you started here are some of my favourites…
Rachel Stevens’s Flourless Mini Chocolate Cakes
I love to make these for my two girls, they’re so easy and guaranteed to please. My mini chocolate cakes are delicious and so quick to make. I love my tea, so these cakes are the perfect treat to accompany a cuppa. Continue reading
Step away from the books… your baby just needs you
I’m a total bookworm. In my pre-Sonny Jim days, a week’s holiday would see me easily plough through about a dozen books. One of my thumbs actually bends back a bit further than it should, having spent so much of my formative years propping open hardbacks.
And yet when I was pregnant I did not read any parenting books. And when Sonny Jim arrived I didn’t crack open any guides to motherhood.
I’m not even sure why. I don’t know whether they just intimidated me a bit. Or if there was perhaps a bit of arrogance – me being determined to do it my way. Of course, there was always Dr Google, and a million different articles online which I often dipped into, but to be honest, I tended to seek out things that supported my own way of thinking – rather than looking for other people to tell what to do. Continue reading