My top 5 box sets to get you through your baby’s first year

Ah the newborn days, they sleep a lot, but they wake up at the most random times. You try and sleep when they sleep, but you can’t always get to sleep, but you do need to chill, this is where the box sets come in. I watched a fair bit of TV when Hallie was asleep, especially as I couldn’t do much after my c-section. 

For the best viewing experience I use a Google Chromecast. You can cast from Google Play app or from the Chrome browser on your laptop.

  1. Mount Pleasant – the perfect box set for the newborn days, there is no point getting into something heavy, you will never stay awake or alert enough to take it in. Mount Pleasant is funny, easy going but still very addictive.
    They have stopped making it now, so you can watch it from start to finish.
    Where: Now TV 
  2. Stella – Again very funny, but still has that drama edge. It is written by Ruth Jones and she stars as the main character Stella, if you loved Gavin & Stacey, you will love this. The perfect tonic for long newborn nights.
    This has also just finished (although there are rumours of a Christmas Special).
    Where: Now TV
  3. Power – well, what can I say, I wasn’t expecting to like it, but I really did. It is produced by 50 cent (stay with me) and centres around the New York drug & club scene. I won’t give too much away, but it can leave you feeling a bit hot under the collar. 
    Season 5 is released in the summer, so plenty of time to catch up.
    Where: Netflix
  4. Shetland – I love a crime drama, and while I will never tire of The Bill reruns, I do like something a bit grittier but with heart. It will put you off ever moving to Shetland, but there’s not as many murders as Midsomer…
    The current series is on BBC1 Tuesday nights.
    Where: iPlayer for current series, you might have to buy the others.
  5. Outlander – A journey back in time and then back further. It took a few episodes but then I was hooked. Mainly set in Scotland, around 1743 onwards, you are drawn into love, war & a lot of drama. Maybe not one for the newborn days as it does get very intense!
    The next series is due in autumn and can’t come soon enough.
    Where: Amazon Prime

I am on the look out for a new box set – so please leave suggestions in the comments!

Oh and word of warning – if someone recommends ‘This is us’ do.not.listen, it is amazing but way too emotional! Save it for later down the line.


Yummy toddler pinwheels: Quick win

I love pinwheels! My toddler doesn’t mind them either, so they are a great choice for lunch or a quick teatime meal.

It is also a meal your toddlers can get involved with making!

Get yourself some frozen puff pastry, you normally get two in a pack and they defrost within a couple of hours, then you always have a sheet in the freezer as a back up.

  1. lay out the pastry and make some tasty sauce, you can use passata and I like to add some oregano and pepper, but you can add any flavours your kid likes.
  2. Spread it across the pastry and then layer with cheese, I like to use red cheese to add some colour.
  3. Pick your next ingredient, it could be strips of ham, pineapple, chicken… just lay it out, with the strips you are going to cut in mind.
  4. Then add some more cheese on top, and you are ready to slice it up!
  5. The fun bit – let them help you roll them up!
  6. Lay them out on some baking paper and pop them in the oven for 15 or so mins!
  7. Get ready to eat them! Lovely with some salad.

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100 years today: Let’s keep pushing on!

Today feels like a great day, it is 100 years since women won the vote, and it is everywhere, everyone is talking about it and that is just how it should be. We SHOULD celebrate it, and I am hoping all women celebrate it by voting!

It does feel a bit sad however that in 2018 there is still gender inequality in jobs, relationships, pay, parenting, etc. but it is going in the right direction and we must push on with it and raise our sons and daughters to believe in equality.

I saw the Lorraine show this morning and she said she isn’t sure it is something you can teach, and in part she is right, it is more about our attitudes around our children and what we surround them with. With this in mind we got out Hallie’s ‘Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls’ book and started to read about amazing women through history. From doctors to writers and politicians to scientists, these women are more than inspiring.

When I was growing up I honestly didn’t see a difference between men and women, I didn’t realise some people thought my dad was superior to my mum. My dad was a department store manager and worked in fashion and my mum was our mum and then a teacher, I didn’t realise people thought there were ‘male’ jobs and ‘female’ jobs. My mum has always instilled into me that I could be anything I wanted to be, and that university was always an option if I wanted it. Whilst growing up I wanted to be a vet, then a lawyer and then a journalist, I don’t remember anyone laughing at these choices or saying I couldn’t, and that all stems back to 100 years ago when those brave women made such a difference.

So, in my early life and teenage years I never experienced gender inequality, nothing that sticks in my mind. I did however start to pick up on it when I decided to work in IT, where day after day I would meet men (some in lower ranked jobs than me), implying there was no way I could know more than them or do the job better, which (not to blow my own trumpet) was total bullshit.

BUT I have to say, I have experienced a ridiculous amount of sexism since becoming a mother. It is honestly surprising how many people still believe the mothers role is to be main carer and basically chief cook and bottle washer. The fact that when we told people that Matt and I would have loved to have taken part in shared parenting leave, well quite frankly I thought some people had been sick in their mouths! I am constantly told how lucky I am that Matt is a hands on dad, I would like to bet people don’t tell him how lucky he is that I am a hands on mum…Let’s stamp these attitudes out and keep challenging them!

It’s not all bad though things are changing on that front, and the fact that shared parenting leave has come in at all is a massive step, in recognising the importance of women’s careers and recognising that men want to co parent.

Does anyone follow @thedididad & @dr_rachel_eyre on Instagram? If not you should! They are both breast cancer researchers and shared their parenting leave. The first six months was @dr_rachel_eyre and now it is @thedididad, and his posts are brilliant, they are honest and he gives a lot of praise to mums/dads on maternity leave. However now @dr_rachel_eyre is back at work, she too gives praise to dads who work all day and then come home and get stuck into parenting (however she does note that she still feels that is the easier role). Oh by the way, I should mention they have TWINS! Heroes.

Let’s do what we can, starting with our children

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”



Five snacks my toddler LOVES : Great snacks for on the go

Hallie has always had a healthy appetite, so snacks are constant throughout the day. I like to make sure they are healthy or contain something she can get some goodness from. Sometimes we get this right and most days the snacks are a hit, but not always, I don’t think anyone can predict 100% what a toddler is going to want to eat, most of the time they don’t even know. Funny though that white chocolate buttons can be a hit snack any time of the day, any day of the week.

She love, love, loves them. Hallie would eat them all day long if I let her. Not surprisingly she likes them out of the small (easy portable) snack boxes, better than the big bag, so my tip is – keep the little boxes and fill them up with raisins from the bag. Cheaper, they will get more and they are still easy to take out and about.

Carrot, cucumber and pepper strips
Healthy, yummy and colourful. As they say, eat the rainbow and you won’t go far wrong.

This is a new like for Hallie, and one will keep her happy as I make her dinner. Also great fun for her to pretend it is a sword.

Fruit salad: bananas, oranges, blueberries & grapes
Lots of good stuff that little ones need, blueberries have always been a fave in our house and oranges are the new fave. I got some nice little tubs from Tesco, I try (and have the energy) to make them up when i’m making breakfast and pop them in the fridge. Great for if we are going out.

In strips, in shapes (stars look good and interesting), or if you are Hallie straight out of your Mum’s sandwich, what a delicious plain cucumber sandwich I enjoyed today. She doesn’t seem to mind what shape they are in on mummy’s plate, but she is incredibly picky of what is on her own.


My first book club: Keeping my resolution to read more books

One of my resolutions for this year is to read more books. To help me push on with this and stick to it, I am going to write a monthly book club post, so here is Januarys!

So far, so good. I have managed to read not one, but TWO books this month, (I have lost out on sleep though), but it was worth it.

First up on my 2018 reading list was ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ by Giovanna Fletcher
I have enjoyed some of her romantic fiction whilst on holiday, so I was more than happy to give her new release a read. ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ isn’t a romance as such, it is more about learning to be on your own, to love your life and yourself.

Lizzy is our main girl in this story, she is desperate for that ring on her finger and sadly it becomes all too clear that isn’t the way her story is going to go, but in my opinion it is better! This book shows all kind of relationships and how they form who we are and what direction our life takes; friendships, family relationships, co-worker relationships, just to name a few. Lizzy’s story feels honest and in many parts extremely relatable and funny. Giovanna is much more daring with her writing in this book than her other books, which sets it apart in a great way.

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Pack it in your suitcase or use it to brighten up your February.
I am going to give it 4 out of 5.

Second up we have ‘The Cows’ by Dawn O’Porter. I LOVE Dawn O’Porter, I have loved her since watching her documentaries on BBC3 and now after reading her books I love her even more.

‘The Cows’, what can I say, it took me from laughing out loud to feeling physically sick from most unimaginable cringeworthy situations the characters find themselves in.
This book explores many types of women and how their actions are viewed by others.
I like a book with a few twists and turns and it certainly has that. I was just about to put it down at 1am one night, knowing my ticking time bomb of a toddler could get up at anytime, but then BAM a twist had me gripped and I couldn’t even be mad at myself the next day as it was well worth it.


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It has some really interesting themes, and its brilliantly thought provoking.
Stick with it, you won’t regret it.
I am going to give it a 5 out of 5. For plenty more laughs follow Dawn on social media.

If you have any suggestions for my next reads comment them below. Here’s hoping I can fit two more in during Feb.