"At the beginning of 2010 I came across my diary from last year. I had a quick flick through and was hit with the realisation of exactly how much my life has changed since January ’09. My diary is littered with words like ‘Golden Globes’, ‘Baftas’, ‘Brits’ and ‘The Oscars’ – all of which my working life revolved around...

Fast forward a year and my January is barren. The pages are a wasteland of days and dates and woefully empty pages. My poor, poor moleskin must have been sobbing into its perfectly intact spine at such a pitiful sight..."

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


This time last year I was 31 weeks pregnant and undergoing vigorous hospital checks for pre-eclampsia. I was practically part of the furniture at the Royal Free's maternity day assesment unit.

Today, I have a healthy baby who is almost one year old, has five teeth, has taken her first steps and will only eat from a fork.


Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Filthy Fun With Amy Winehouse

This weekend last year there was NOTHING in my diary.

Lo and behold, on Friday night, I went out... of my flat... with friends, to an actual, social event.

There were real life people there! I drank a beer! Take that, me of last year. In your face. (My face… erm…)

Anyways, contrary to the boring mc-snoringness of my ’09 empty moleskine page (at 31 weeks pregnant, I probably spent the evening like a beached whale on the sofa watching the tellybox) , I put my heels on and got me down to the Good Mixer for The Millstain’s birthday.

Well if you’re going to go out, you might as well do it in one of the filthiest places in the Big Smoke. But I am happy to report that it didn't smell like vomit quite as much as it used to. Also, seems I'm not the only one that's changed. Amy Winehouse's new boobs are really quite nice in the flesh.

Sunday, 12 September 2010


This time last year I fell in love with WTF and OMG, and went around pretending to be in Gossip Girl, “ex-oh-ex-oh-ing” everyone in sight. I tried to TTYN whenever I could, in the style of Paris Hilton (in an ironic way, you understand). However I often chastised people for LOL-ing me in txt msgs (don’t know why I didn’t like that one so much, but it really bugged me, and certainly never made me LMAO).

Nowadays, I am down pat with a whole other land of lingo – I chat with HHM’s (Happy Hippy Mummies) about EBF-ing (Exclusive Breast Feeding) our LO’s (Little Ones), discuss the antics of our DH’s (Dear Husbands) and ponder the pros and cons of CIO (Crying It Out) and PUPD (Pick Up Put Down).

Above all though, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is probably my most oft’ used abbreviation, from which I frequently suffer serious cases. Nights out are seriously few and far between. OK, so I have only actually attempted it once for one of my bestest buddies. She had a 30th birthday bash at her house – I stayed for a few hours but had such serious separation anxiety that I was home by 10.30pm – LO was 8 weeks old at the time.

Perhaps it’s time I remedied the situation…

On This Day… 75 Years Ago

OK so I’m veering somewhat from the 1 year ago rule, but thought this was worth adding. We recently attended the 75th anniversary celebrations at the De La Warr Pavilion in the whirling metropolis of Bexhill, home to Nanny Babs and Big Tel the Merciful.

They re-created an iconic picture that was printed in the Daily Mirror in 1936:

And guess who had a starring role? Check out the Mini Moon-Pig and her Nanny in the modern day version:

Bad Days

Last year, a bad day mainly revolved around not hitting a million unique users on the Sky Showbiz website, or not having enough news content (how rude of Britney to not have another meltdown! How boring of Posh to stay with her husband! How outrageous of Paris to not get off her face and puke in a gutter!).

A bad day these days begins with a 5.30am wake up call – a wail, not a chirrup – and entering Il Babbino’s room to find it reeking like an open sewer.

It is tripping over The Kiwi’s bike in pursuit of a fresh nappy, getting KR’s babushka door stop covered in bike grease and smashing a new picture frame in the fall.

It is giving KR porridge that ends up in her hair, up her nose and on the walls.

On a bad day, I give her some bum-airing time, where she wafts around sans nappy, immediately poos on the floor, tries to put her hands in it, and then busts out of her Bumbo when I’m trying to damage control the scene.

Or having 99% success in face-catching a standy-uppy, but failing in the 1% when she headbuts the floor.

And yet for all the hard stuff there is SO MUCH good. Stuff that is hard to write about without sounding like a smug w@nker – stuff that would give The Kiwi more ammo when he says maternity leave is like a year-long holiday.

My bad days these days seem better than my good days in the olden days.

All For A Good Cause

This time last year I was usually reporting at celebrity events, not being invited to them.

But this week the kind folks at BornFree invited me along to their Celebrity Baby Shower in association with Action for Children.

Celeb parents and parents-to-be flocked to the event where they were treated to some amazing gifts from the BornFree range. The likes of Lauren Laverne, TV presenter Giles Vickers Jones, Claire Richards, Lisa Scott Lee, WAG’s Boutique favourite Nicola T, Absolute Radio’s Ben Jones, Emmerdale Actress Danielle Brown and Faye Tozer amongst others, were on hand to indulge in the latest products from the range along with some fantastic kids clothing, super cute children’s bedding and even maternity skincare.

In addition, the celebs were on hand to show their support for the charity Action for Children by autographing a gift bag to be auctioned. Guests were invited to get involved with a great cause by producing special pieces of artwork for the charity’s ‘Celebrity Journeys’ auction which invites famous faces to illustrate their professional or emotional life journey, to highlight the difficult life journeys that many youngsters face.

Action for Children is a fantastic charity that works in communities across the UK supporting the most vulnerable and neglected children, young people and their families, as they embark upon their own transformational journeys. Founded 140 years ago, Action for Children is one of the UK’s largest children’s charities and works with more than 156,000 children, young people and their families across the UK.

* BornFree™ and Action for Children would like to thank the following celeb favoured brands for helping with the exclusive baby shower: Babyface, Cheeks and Cherries, Tantrum, HotMilk, Comvita, Truffle Shuffle, Fabric Flavours, Boo Boo Organics, Alice Apple, Simply Colors, Merino Kids and Cheeky Rascals.

For more information on BornFree visit www.babybornfree.co.uk. For more information on Action For Children visit www.ActionforChildren.org.uk.

Overheard Conversations

Last year:

The Kiwi (to the bump, in a weird voice): “Hellooooo. Hello. Hi.”

To me: “I don’t know what to say.”

Me: “Just say anything, it doesn’t matter what you say, she won’t understand. It’s just to get her used to your voice.”

The Kiwi (to the bump, in an even weirder voice): “Hiya. Helloooooooooo. Hi.”

This year:

The Kiwi to Babysaurus Rex: “You have milk breath. I have coffee breath. Together we’re a latte.”


This time last year I was shouting about all the things I wasn’t allowed to do. Being pregnant meant I couldn’t eat salami, soft cheese, mayonnaise or sushi. My rebellion, combined with my immense pregnancy hunger, meant all I wanted to do was scoff the things I wasn’t allowed to scoff. But I never gave in. Despite gasping for a glass of vino, I drank Becks Blue instead. Once, when swinging by Maccy D’s on a particularly Hank Marvin’ day (don’t judge me – pregnancy brain makes you do crazy things) I took a bite of my McChicken Burger, realised it had mayonnaise in it and almost stuck my fingers down my throat for a tactical spew on the north circ, such was my fear.

These days my life is all about what Shark Bait will (or will not, as the case may be) get down her gullet. Yes, we are weaning. An aversion to the spoon has resulted in enforced baby-led weaning (sort of, sometimes), and an aversion to a sippy-cup has resulted in drinking (messily) out of open topped tumblers. (The best one so far is the Doidy cup). Anyway, I have some advice (based purely on my experiences with Il Bambino Miglio and not on any real research), that may (or may not) be helpful…

1. Avoid weaning for as long as you can. The health guidelines say 6 months – quite apart from digestive systems working well enough, not having to puree everything to a runny pulp, iron stores depleting after 6 months etc etc, it will save your sanity for that little bit longer if you wait
2. Don’t sweat it if your little one only likes sweet stuff to begin with – just get a little something in their tummies so that they can learn and experience chewing and swallowing – the taste for savoury comes, miraculously, all by itself
3. Get one of those bibs that catches the fall out
4. If the Babby doesn’t like being spoon fed, give him/her a bit of banana or a softened mini weetabix to hold and see if they would prefer to do it themselves – then think about baby led weaning
5. To minimise the whole ‘Are you cooking baby food yourself’ mayhem (usually asked by smug supermummy types), choose food that will suit you as well as your baby so that you can just mush your dinner for Toots. (*Please note: It’s not always easy to cook babyfood from scratch, so don’t give yourself a hard time about it. Ella’s Kitchen and Organix ranges are super healthy options from the supermarche.) I have some super ace recipes that are right easy to make, cheap for your groceries and tasty too. For example…

Recipes that will suit both you and your weaning baby (at 6 months +)

Lamb Casserole

1 tsp oil
500g lean diced lamb
1 1/2 cups beef or vegetable stock
1/4 cup of cauliflower, diced
1 small potato, peeled and diced
1/4 cup frozen peas

1. Heat oil, brown lamb. Add stock, cover and simmer for 30 mins
2. Add potatoes, cook for 30 more mins then add cauliflower, cook until veggies are tender
3. Add peas, cook for a further few mins

Yummsville for Ma and Pa, then mush and go for Il Babbino. Sweet as.

Meaty Hotpot

500g diced beef/lamb casserole meat (beef chuck/blade steak or boneless lamb)
420g can baked beans (low salt and sugar)
1/2 small swede or sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 1/4 cups water
2 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp oil

1. In a casserole dish add meat, beans, swede or sweet potato, carrots and onion
2. Stir water into mix
3. Cover with tin foil and cool at 180 degrees for 1/2 an hour
4. Remove from oven, top with sliced potatoes and brush with oil
5. Return to the oven, uncovered for 1 hour.

How easy is that? Basically just chuck it all in a casserole dish, and shove it in the oven. Serve with seasonal veggies.

Shepherds Pie

1 Tbsp oil
500g lean beef or lamb mince
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
6 button mushrooms, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 courgette and/or other seasonal greens, finely chopped
2 cups mashed potato

1. Brown mince in oil in hot pan
2. Stir in veggies, except potato
3. Cover and simmer for 15 mins
4. Spoon mixture into a pie dish
5. Top with mashed potato
6. Bake at 180 degrees for 15 mins.

This’ll go someway to getting your 5 a day too. Primo, eh?

Betty Swollocks In My Mankini

This time last year I was on a hen weekend in Center Parcs, celebrating with the aforementioned Naomi-then-Vaisey-now-Burl.

The Peanut was about about four months foetal and starting to pop into a little round tummy bulge. I was just out of morning sickness, but still a little exhausted, so not too upset that I wasn’t allowed to bomb down the waterslides or partake in the bowling. I still had a rollocking time, and let me tell you, the hilarity I experienced while watching the girls descend into drunken mayhem was PRICELESS.

After a fairly civilised day in the spa and a spot of horse riding for Nay, we trotted off to the restaurant for a bit of nosh. On the way we recognised a fella off of the telly, holidaying with his mates. I would like to say that we played it cool, but Naomi practically pee’d her pants, waving her arms in the air, jumping up and down and shouting in a voice that only dogs can hear: “OMG! He’s my FAVOURITE! That’s so funny he’s in my top five! OMG! Don’t tell Eric! SQUEAL!”

Hilariously, we were sat at the table next to them and as such the majority of dares revolved around us whispering furiously, then packing Nay off, her head wrapped in toilet paper as a bridal veil, to ask them to do stupid things. Cue much bonding with Telly-boy.

Like the ladies we are, we left TV-boy and his buddies to their beers and headed off for a spot of bowling before retiring to our chalets to carry on the after party. I flaked at around midnight when my poor pregnant eyes could stay open no longer. Dagnammit I should’ve stayed. In the morning the gals were in fits about the arrival of Telly-Boy and his rowdy rabble who turned up at the chalet to crash the hen party. The highlight of the evening came, they told me, when three of them locked themselves in the bathroom and emerged wearing the bikinis that were hanging out to dry. I reeled in horror… “Please tell me none of them wore the green Sea Follie one” I whimpered, only to be presented with photographic evidence of Telly-Boy striking a fetching pose in my very own swimwear, the tie-up bottoms barely containing his meat and two veg. They peaced out fairly quickly after that, but it sure was a hen night to remember!!