31 March 2017

Feature: Your Health Hit

4 Secret Things Turning Us into Fat Mamma's!

It’s no secret eating donuts, diet drinks and left over kids dinner every day will contribute to making us fat, and if we are overloaded in too much sugar over a long period of time, this will also make us very ill! But lets put diet aside for a moment. Often diet, and our relationship with food, is the reactive symptom of something else going on in our lives!

As a mum of busy boys, always time poor and constantly on the go, I find that even my healthiest intentions and actions don’t always pay off. { aka I am only human } Like you, I’m busy with navigating my way through life. My weeks are busy building my ‘empire’ in just 18 hours per week ( it can be done ), whilst also filling my family’s fridge and plates with food, including trying to remember the 101 things nursery tell me to do ( costumes, cake bake sales, book swaps uurrggh! ), plus entertain two little maniacs under the age of 4 AND be an attentive friend and wife to my darling husband. Something has got to give right? ( yes, usually the cork in a bottle of wine.. but I digress )

Here are my 4 surprising facts that not only impact our eating habits, but are changing how our brain and body metabolise the food we put in it.

1. Sleep: Or lack of! I think the last time I slept in a truly quiet, undisturbed and dark room was years ago in a hotel on my own! When was the last time you slept in complete darkness? Not to mention undisturbed since having kids? The one thing we can control is the light. Sleeping in a bedroom that has too much light coming into it can mess with our melatonin levels which in turn screw with metabolism, in other words slow it right down! Try to black out your bedroom as much as possible and hide cellphone faces downwards or make the bedroom gadget free entirely.

2. Stress: Stress is SO underestimated. We often think it’s just something in our head, but stress is very physical and can flip a switch in our bodies from alkaline to acidic in a matter of minutes! Stress can be emotional ( too much going on ), physical ( strenuous exercise ) and environmental ( external toxins from chemicals and also relationships! ). When we say we “feel” stressed, it’s also the cortisol hormone levels increasing, sometimes to an unhealthy level, and cortisol can make us feel hungry ( it an also have the reverse effect! ). Breathe deep, count to 10, do some om’s and drink a large glass of water first, often we are chronically dehydrated, not actually hungry.

3. Indecisiveness: A lack of true desire can snowball into a state of flux. When we are in flux we feel scattered, out of sorts, overwhelmed and a bit lost. { Cue: open fridge while we procrastinate further }. If we want to make a positive change in our eating habits, we have to make a decision. Could be a small decision or a big one. Just make one! From this decision comes desire, which fuels belief, and belief drives our focus to the vision of our healthy strong selves. No one said making a decision would be easy. But it’s much easier than dealing with all that being indecisive brings.

4. Overweight friends: It’s human nature to mimic when in a relationship and to feel like we belong. Some of us are easily influenced when surrounded by people who are in a certain mindset of self sabotage. Don’t go ditching your friends, hell no! We can be easily influenced, inspired and empowered by someone who breaks the cycle for something more positive. Embrace your lovely friends, and instead make a decision together. Hold each other accountable for your health goals. We are more likely to succeed in our goals when we do it with a friend or partner. Seek out friends who might rub a little of their positive and supportive mindset off on you too.

So in summary, sometimes how we feel and our situational environment can impact what we put in our mouths, in turn impacting our health. We all deserve great health and with some small adjustments we can achieve it. C’mon girlfriends! Let’s make a decision to give ourselves the gift of more quality sleep, de-stress with a little pampering now and then and embrace our friends to make some healthy changes together. We all deserve it. You are bloody Superwomen!

Looking for more inspiration on how to create some balance in your life? Come check out my fresh recipes, quick workouts you can do with your kids, rants and raves of for busy women and Mum's looking for balance, not perfection.

Written by Pieta from @bypieta 


Monthly Horoscopes by Russell Grant

ARIES March 21st - April 20th

You'll be working hard to improve your financial situation at the start of the month. Demanding a raise, increasing your fees and applying for a better paid job are all possibilities. Keep your receipts, as it will be necessary to return an expensive item that doesn't come up to expectations or is badly damaged. The Full Moon on the 11th will cause a power struggle in a close relationship. Beware of assuming a dictatorial attitude with your romantic or business partner. Hosting a gathering will lift your spirits at Easter; you'll enjoy serving as Master of Ceremonies. Your employer will become less demanding during the second half of April, allowing you to catch up on household or family responsibilities. On the 26th, you'll see a big improvement in your income. Having more money will give you more time for relaxing activities. It would be a good idea to take a solitary vacation by the sea. You'll welcome this opportunity to reconnect with your spiritual side.

TAURUS April 21st - May 21st

It will be easy to command attention throughout April. Take this opportunity to promote your agenda and increase demands. Your powers of persuasion will be very strong, making it difficult to refuse any of your requests. After being provided with new information, you'll revise some opinions about current events. Be prepared to apologise for any confusion you have caused. On the 11th, the Full Moon will create strain at work. Mixing your personal and professional lives will cause a great deal of unhappiness. If you feel you want to ask a colleague for a date you should think again. Easter brings a lovely opportunity to socialise with caring people who bring out the best in you. Expenses will increase during the second half of the month, despite your best efforts to economise. Launching a self-improvement programme will be successful on the 26th, thanks to an empowering New Moon. Turn over a new leaf.

GEMINI May 22nd - June 21st

You'll get help from an undisclosed friend at the beginning of April. Don't question your luck when you receive a big windfall. Instead, give thanks for it by making a donation to your favourite charity. Dealing with a bureaucratic issue will be more frustrating than usual during the first half of the month. If you can postpone this business until May, do so. The Full Moon on the 11th could make you realise that a troubled romantic relationship isn't worth your time or your energy. Alternatively, the results of a creative project could be disappointing. Friends will be helpful around Easter, when you need an added measure of support to deal with a legal matter. Push an important personal project during the second half of the month, even if it means working around a stubborn authority figure. The New Moon on the 26th offers a welcome opportunity to rest, relax and recuperate from your labours. Head for a private retreat.

CANCER June 22nd - July 23rd

Working with a partner will help you make a cherished dream come true in the opening days of April. Don't let pessimistic relatives and colleagues break your stride. A friend from your past will try to reconnect with you; recalling old times will jog some forgotten memories. The Full Moon on the 11th could bring a tense family situation to a head. It may be time to find a healthier living situation. Travel may be on the agenda around Easter. This would be a good time to go on a spiritual pilgrimage. Assuming more responsibility in a close partnership will be empowering during the second half of the month. This is a great opportunity to show how effectively you can take charge of events. On the 26th, a sociable New Moon will draw you out of your shell. It's a great time to attend or host a gathering. Splash out on an eye catching outfit. You'll have a great time playing the host or hostess with the mostest.

LEO July 24th - August 23rd

A career opportunity that seems tailor-made for you will become available. Do everything in your power to land this position. Update your CV, gather a list of references and put together impressive samples of your work. You may have to go for several interviews before getting an official offer. On the 11th, the Full Moon will bring some upsetting news. It may be necessary to change your dietary and exercise habits. At first, these changes will be difficult to undergo. Be patient and persistent. You'll attract lots of admiring glances at an Easter gathering. Be sure to wear something eye catching that will turn heads. Pay careful attention to your body's signals during the second half of the month. If an old ache or pain resurfaces, make a date with your doctor. The New Moon on the 26th will put you squarely in the spotlight, where you belong. You could assume a political office or be given an impressive promotion.

VIRGO August 24th - September 23rd

The beginning of April is a good time to make some travel plans. It would be wonderful to visit a country that has fascinated you since childhood. A legal matter could hit a snag during the first half of the month. Be ready to revisit some issues you had thought were resolved. On the 11th, the Full Moon will create financial strain. It may be time to talk with a loved one or child who has expensive tastes. Easter will bring a welcome opportunity to spend quality time with your favourite friends and relatives. An old flame will try to make their way back into your life during the second half of the month. Think carefully whether or not you want to get involved with them the second time around especially if there was a good reason you broke up in the first place. The New Moon on the 26th is ideal for expanding your horizons. Seize this opportunity to put yourself on a steep learning curve.

LIBRA September 24th - October 23rd

Passion suffuses an intimate relationship in the early days of the month. If you're single, you could meet someone special at a business meeting or professional association. Go over financial statements with a fine toothed comb during the first half of the month. Report unusual activity or unrecognised charges as soon as possible. The Full Moon on the 11th will force you to defend our reputation to a meddling relative. Stop letting a controlling family member influence your decisions. A big windfall will come your way at Easter, allowing you to put a down payment on a home or car. Your household will undergo big changes during the second half of the month making it a good time to launch repairs or modernise your home in one way or another. On the 26th, you'll get a chance to create long term financial security. Make out a will, take out an insurance policy or start a retirement fund.

SCORPIO October 24th - November 22nd

A partner is encouraging you to make a bold move. Thanks to their support, you'll be taking decisions and moving forward at a rate you never dreamt possible. You'll have to revisit an old issue with a business or romantic partner. Resist the temptation to sweep a relapse under the carpet. On the 11th, an embarrassing secret will come to light. Be ready to do some damage control at this stressful time. News of an engagement, marriage or pregnancy could be announced near Easter, setting off a round of celebrations. The second half of April will prompt you to change your thinking on a local matter. Apologise to someone whose opinions you once scorned. The New Moon on the 26th could mark the beginning of a fruitful business partnership or passionate romance. This alliance will cause your creative juices to flow freely. Take this opportunity to revisit a creative project you abandoned some time ago.

SAGITTARIUS November 23rd - December 21st

Working on a commission or freelance basis could pay off nicely at the beginning of the month. You'll easily outperform the competition at this stimulating time. If you're unemployed, you could find work with an employer you used to work for a long time ago. On the 11th, the Full Moon will cause arguments among friends. As much as you hate to do so, you will have to take sides. The days surrounding Easter will be perfect for enjoying domestic pursuits. It's a positive time to enjoy comfort food with your nearest and dearest. Do your best to conserve your financial resources during the second half of April. Make your cash stretch as far as it can possibly go. On the 26th, the New Moon will prompt you to hold a far reaching lifestyle check. Improving your diet, exercise and sleep regimens will yield impressive results. Breaking a bad habit will be liberating; get professional help if you need it.

CAPRICORN December 22nd - January 20th

Your powerful magnetism attracts many admirers at the beginning of April. If you're single, you'll enjoy playing the dating game. Do you have a partner? It will feel like you're enjoying a second honeymoon with your amour. It may become necessary to revise a creative project several times during the first half of the month. Be patient and stay focused on doing the best job you can. The Full Moon on the 11th will find you facing off with an oppressive authority figure. You may decide it's time to leave a position that has become too stressful to bear. A loving message from someone special will make your spirits soar at Easter. During the second half of the month, you should make adjustments to a self-improvement programme that is sapping your energy. On the 26th, the New Moon will prompt you to take a financial or emotional risk. This gamble will pay off handsomely.

AQUARIUS January 21st - February 19th

Home improvements will make daily life much easier; use the early days of April to make repairs or upgrade the kitchen or bathroom. A property matter will hit some snags during the first half of the month. Take delays, mechanical breakdowns and misunderstandings in your stride. It will be much easier to straighten things out when you are calm and focused. On the 11th, the Full Moon will cause arguments about religion, politics and culture to erupt. Instead of adding fuel to the fire, listen carefully to all points of view. Reconnect with friends and family at Easter. The second half of April will find you doing battle with a bureaucratic institution. A change in policy will create tremendous inconvenience to you. If an agency refuses to stick to its original agreement, you may want to contact the media. The New Moon on the 26th is perfect for buying or selling a piece of property.

PISCES February 20th - March 20th

Joining a professional or creative organisation will be empowering in the early days of April and set a trend for times to come. There is strength in numbers at this pivotal time. Double check the address field before hitting the 'send' button on emails. Misdirected messages can cause tremendous problems during the first half of the month. The Full Moon on the 11th will bring an unexpected expense. You'll have to juggle the budget to accommodate your financial obligations. Use your considerable charm to talk your way into a great job around Easter. The second half of the month will see some big changes to your social network. It may be time to purge some people from your Facebook feed. On the 26th, the New Moon will give you a chance to acquire some valuable skills. Learning how to make furniture or repair equipment will give you a great feeling of satisfaction. If you play your cards right, you may even be able to use this knowledge to increase your income.

To view Russell Grant's website please visit here

Full credit to Russell Grant for content and photo.


30 March 2017

Bad Baby

Don’t be fooled by that angelic sleeping face, you are looking at the face of a supposed bad baby.
I was often asked, when my Daughter was really little (mostly before she turned one); “is she a good baby“. This meant, did she sleep all night, did she never cry. “No”, I would reply, she’s a terrible sleeper/cries non stop/psycho/terror/monster/trying to break me (delete as appropriate depending on the day we had had),  but I still really love her”. It had never occurred to me that a baby had the capabilities of being good or bad, they just are. Sure they can be loud or quiet, asleep or awake, pooping or pooping (all day long!).
Yet the notion that these tiny beings (beings which cannot feed themselves, move to safety, or even recognise their own hands initially) were actually these devious, manipulative beings, setting out to make life difficult seemed wide spread. A local Health Visitor once, promoting night weaning, described a six month old to me as “just being pissed off you won’t give them what they want”. Terms like “spoiling the baby”, “giving in”, “needing tough love”, “getting what they want”, and “they’ve got you wrapped round their finger”, came in thick and fast.
I truly believe that babies have only needs not wants (I talk more about my thoughts on that here). They aren’t capable of being ‘bad‘ or ‘good‘, they are all about survival and just ‘being’. I think it can be really useful to take the perspective when looking at young Children from an Evolutionary perspective (they don’t know it’s the 21st Century), as opposed to applying Cultural norms. A baby born in England, is no different to a baby born in Africa, nor a baby born 500 years ago. However, the Cultural expectations upon them, and therefore the way we treat them can be vastly different.
I know most people who refer to babies as being good or bad haven’t really thought through what they are saying. it’s making conversation, and probably repeating something they were asked as new Mums. So perhaps we can stop talking about good and bad babies (all babies are just perfect, we all know that). And it might lead to not feeling we are being judged as good or bad mums?
Written by Jo from Intrepid Bebe (@intrepidbebe)

Feature: Beauty and Wellness

Top Tips on Mindfully Moving Your Muscles While Contorting Your Body to Control a Toddler.

You are also probably holding all of their shit.  And your shit.  And if you’re masochistic, maybe you have a dog too, in which case you could quite literally be holding its shit in a trifecta of evil that could not be more perfectly designed to throw your back out, or pull a hamstring, or make that diastasis recti worse.

Now, I have to state right here at the beginning that I am not professionally qualified in any way to give you these tips, so please do choose to ignore me.  HOWEVER.  I currently, and always have, taken a huge interest in understanding how the human body moves. To wit, a short CV: background in classical ballet, athlete, Pilates freak and all round nerd.  I have also sustained a pretty significant injury (broken hip at seventeen, reconstructed), which has given me more exposure to orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapists than I ever wanted, as well as cause to truly understand the importance of correct alignment and how best to move my muscles in order to support joints and prevent injury.   Just to flog a dead horse so that you are more likely to read on: I will be starting a Pilates teacher training course this coming May.  See! I’m serious.  So take these tips in the spirit of having a really good, really nerdy, really well informed friend give you advice you haven’t asked for. 

Before I had my kid, I never appreciated just how physical being a parent is.  Even when they are tiny and not so heavy, you are carrying them all. the. time.  Maybe I had a particularly clingy baby; I know I am particularly soft so maybe I just carried her all the time, but I do think the surprising physicality is a fairly universal experience among parents.  Add on top of this my previous injury and a crazy case of diastasis recti and you can see why I’ve taken a keen interest in how best to align myself and move with a baby attached. 

So, what’s a bone-tired, slouchy woman to do? 

·  First thing to remember always is posture. Posture, posture, posture.  Posture.  Not your gran’s ‘balance-a-book-on-your-head-and-walk-across- a-room-in-kitten-heels’ posture; like an actual understanding of good posture.   How many more times do you think I can say ‘posture’ in this article?

It should feel comfortable, but not loose.  You are working here to keep yourself upright and aligned.  When I correct my posture if I notice that I’m too loose and slouchy, the first thing I engage is my core.  This isn’t a sucking in your gut kind of engagement, it’s more of a subtle tightening; you really want to get the inner lower abs working, the transverse abdominals, to help stabilise you and give your back a break. It helps to ensure you’re not flaring your ribs either – don’t puff up your chest.  The miracle of mindfully engaging your core in this way is that it makes it easier for everything else to fall into line. 

·  Secondly: get everything else to fall into line.  This means shoulders down away from your ears and relaxed, scapulae gently pulling together.  Your pelvis tucks ever so slightly under and your neck is long, but from the back of your head, not your chin.  If you think of having a ballerina bun pretty high on your head, and then imagine someone pulling on that bun while you keep your chin level but slightly pointing down (true story) – yeah, that.  

See!  Easy.  Only two steps. 

Because you’re probably all emailing Bad Mum to find out where I live so you can stick needles in my eyes after that helpful two step guide to perfect posture, here are some real life situations you might find yourself in where you’re not just standing straight up and when you’ll be like, how the fuck do I get that pulling on my bun effect now, Mallory?! Well, read on sister.

Emptying the bin under the sink because your partner never does while batting away a toddler to prevent her from grabbing all the things under the sink that can kill her

Start off in a good position here: think a traditional squat, feet flat on the floor and hip width apart, glutes engaged, core engaged, back as straight as you can manage with those scapulae gently pulling together.  Your shoulders should be loose enough to allow one arm to safely flail behind you, keeping that toddler at bay, while you shake the bag loose out of the bin with the other hand. 

Walking up four flights of stairs with your groceries, your kid’s shit, your shit and your kid in your arms (dog optional)

I do this on the regular.  Well, I walk up and down those sixty-four steps every damn day, but mercifully not always with groceries.  Important here as above is a good position.  Even with an uneven distribution of weight in your arms (e.g. toddler in one hand, groceries in the other or both), you can use your core and your excellent posture to help mitigate the effect.  Now that you’ve got your core engaged and your posture sorted, be sure to go up the stairs using your whole foot on the step – you don’t want to be loading all of that weight into your calves and knees.  Then push as if you’re doing a squat – core engaged, glutes engaged, hamstrings engaged, back straight.  Keep yourself in that squat position as you walk up.  I never fully straighten my supporting leg when walking up the stairs, especially if I am heavily laden.  You’ll look a little weird walking up the stairs so deliberately, but you’ll have a fantastic ass and you won’t pull your back out.

Leaning over the cot to unsuccessfully sooth your kid who refuses to sleep

I’ve now given up on this, as my hip couldn’t take it (E sleeps in a floor bed and then when I can’t be bothered any more in our bed) but for all of you who are persisting:  engage the core; engage the hamstrings.  It’s a little much to ask you to keep your back totally straight but it really does help – I used to go between relaxing and straightening in a neutral spine/curved spine sort of move.  Keep your knees relaxed and your feet hip width apart.  Then shush until you get light headed (also true story). 

Getting Help to Lift a Pram Up and Down Stairs at Woefully Under-Equipped Train Stations

I try to keep E as upright as possible when someone has the front of the pram going up stairs, otherwise it’s terrifying to see her dangling, only the straps holding her in.  To lift the pram I tuck my elbows tight to my sides, engage my core, slightly tuck my pelvis and then do the lift making sure to use not just my arms but also the muscles of the upper back over the scapulae.  To climb the stairs the same rules as above apply.  Then when lowering the pram I do the same movement, really concentrating on keeping my elbows tucked tightly to my sides – it makes it easier and you’re less likely to wobble about and pull something.  Or drop the kid – also bad. 

So there you have it.  You’re not always going to be able to move with deliberate mindfulness; sometimes you just have to snatch the kid/dog/groceries in mid-disaster, but if you begin to make a habit of good alignment, good posture and consistent core engagement, you’re more likely to rely on those muscles for support and strength when the going gets crazy. 

Written by Mallory from The Parlour Hackney (@the_parlour_hackney) 


29 March 2017

Feature: Insta Shop

For our next instalment of the Instagram shop feature here on Bad Mum, we have a super talented Mum to Share with you all.

Introducing @Dolly_doodles, in her own words....

1. Tell us about yourself?

Hi, I’m Laura and fast approaching the big 4-0!! I’m from South London where I live with my partner of 21 years and two children, Oliver 8 and Lottie 5.

2. Are you based at home or do you have a shop/studio?

I am solely based at home and tend to flit between the workspace tucked away in the corner of my bedroom and my living room.

3. Where did the name Dolly Doodles come from?

The actual name ‘Dolly Doodles’ is simply based around what the product is.  I’ve always been a doodler.   My previous job contained lots of meetings and conference calls so I often drew whilst taking notes and the main doodle would be my dolly face, the big eyes with OTT eye lashes, big lips.  They’ve been around for years and always referred to as my ‘Dolly’, therefore when I had to think of a name I knew that ‘Dolly’ had to feature.

4. What was your inspiration/what made you start up the venture?

My inspiration has been my children.  Having been made redundant after 15 years working at the same company in a role which was a million miles away from anything creative I was given the freedom to explore my creative side again.  My college days were spent at art college studying Graphic Design with a bolt on in illustration and photography (which is where I met my kids dad btw) We decided between us that if we stayed living in our flat we could afford for me to stay at home and be exclusively available for the children through their early years.  The camera came out, the sewing machine made an appearance and the pens and paints made a come back...yep I’m a craft geek!

One day in February 2016 I created a little mother and me illustration for my daughter’s room as I thought it would be sweet.  The design was based around my ever faithful ‘Dolly’ face and I added a body.  After sharing it on my other insta feed @lovelottielots a couple of friends sent me messages to say how lovely it was.  After creating one for each of them they both pretty much hounded me for weeks to set up a new feed specifically for these to test the market.  I  was really apprehensive, the idea that people would want to pay for something I had drawn was insane, but they talked me into it and ‘Dolly Doodles’ was born on the 7th March 2016.

5. How is it going for you?

My experience of instagram has far exceeded what I envisaged it would be in such a positive way.   Being my own worst critic it took a lot for me to start this up so to find people that I’ve never even met who have supported and encouraged me since the beginning is amazing.  The fact that people want to frame one of my drawings and hang it in their home blows my mind.  I have been told stories of heartbreak and absolute joy as a reason for a picture and knowing that people have shed tears of happiness at receiving something that I have created makes me feel so lucky!

6. What items do you make and who for?

I create a range of custom illustrations and generic prints.  The most common requests are for family portraits in the dolly style.  These are based around people’s real families and although Dollies are pretty generic, I request specific information about each person to ensure that they are all individual to the family.  I have a small range of off the shelf prints available and I am constantly thinking of new designs to add to this collection.  I have also been asked to create more lifelike illustrations, so I am open to pretty much any request.

7. Are you available elsewhere?  Website/Etsy/Facebook?

I am currently exclusively on Instagram but would like to start selling the off the shelf prints through Etsy at some point this year.

In view of the fact that my first job is as a full time mum of two I have to limit the amount of work I take on.  To enable me to control and manage this I introduced a slot based system last year which allows me to do just that.  Every 3 to 4 weeks I release ten slots.  The first ten people to comment on the release post secures a slot for a picture and these are turned around with a few weeks before the next lot is released.   I always give plenty of warning as to when the release date will be and I try to commit to an approximate time and amazingly they go in seconds!  The last lot were all snapped up before the release post had even refreshed on my screen!!

The past year has been about getting Dolly Doodles known, building up a good portfolio of work and testing the market.  I can’t say that  am earning a living yet but this year will be about trying to make this work for me and my little lot financially.....wish me luck!!

Thank you so much Laura. I just love getting to know all the people and stories behind each shop. I’ve been trying to get a slot with Laura for ages myself, I shall persevere.  Just look at some of her amazing pictures, she really is so talented.

She currently has lovely Easter pictures available for £6 each

Click here for the Instagram account. 

Don’t forget, message @twinsagainuk if you know any shops we should feature. 


28 March 2017


This is a new campaign that I have been thinking about doing for a long time. After speaking to a good friend of mine I remembered how lonely I used to be.

When people think of what it is to be lonely they most probably think of the elderly, which of course is absolutely true but it can also affect all ages too. You can be lonely as a teenager to now, when you have a family.

It is funny to think that in today’s world of technology we could possibly be lonely! With Skype, Facetime, social media, apps, WhatsApp or heaven forbid, ringing someone (remember that?)

We have an entire world in our hands every single day, and most of us are addicted to that world confined into that rectangle you are holding or looking at right now. We can access anyone in the world but we are still lonely?

If you think about it, how many friends (and I mean “real” friends) have you got? I am not saying this to be nasty or out of line but I am saying this because the older you get, you can normally count all your friends on one hand. I just counted seven and three of them are either related to me or my partner.

My world in a box! 

It is hard to find genuine friends and to make time for them. When someone does something kind for me, I will always show them by taking round some flowers, text them to tell them or just simply tell them. Because I know how it feels to not have them there.
So, why are we lonely? It could be several reasons but I am here to talk about us Mum’s being lonely as I know first-hand what it is like as I have experienced it, and it seems to be hanging around so many parents; showing no signs of leaving anytime soon.
How can we possibly be lonely when we have a family and kids attached to us 24/7? We speak to other parents? We have all day to go out, do whatever we what and be sociable! But it isn’t as easy as that, is it?

I moved to a new area with a 14-month-old and I didn’t know anyone. All my family and friends were back home and I couldn’t go out anywhere because I can’t drive (and hardly anywhere to walk too!) It was in the six week holidays that I really felt myself slipping down. I remember Jake, my son, playing in the paddling pool in our garden and I was sitting next to him in the sun, crying. I was lucky to be off work in the sunshine with my beautiful boy playing in the water but I had nowhere to go, no one to speak too and felt like my house become a prison. Simon, my partner would walk in through the door and I would talk to him until his poor ears fell off!
I had my Mum at the end of the phone but I lost so many people when I moved – out of sight, out of mind. I just had my Mum, Simon and Jake for months on end. I always try to hide it from Jake too, so I would always put a smile on so he knew no different but I couldn’t always hide it. Those months were the hardest times of my life (and I have been through a lot) plus Jake wasn’t sleeping until 10pm at night so no evening for us (then slept with me all night!) We were glued together all day, every day. I was sad, lonely, going crazy and falling. 

I look happy but I was surviving. 

I started another blog (I am a Mum, get me out of here) just so I could talk to people, went on Netmums and I also asked people online if they wanted to be pen pals. I still speak and write to one now. My days were so long that I used to wait by the window, waiting for the postman to come just see if I had a letter to read! If he walked past my window with nothing, I could feel it in the pit of my stomach.

Now, I am much happier, I have some really good friends, Jake goes to school nearly all week and I have some time for me (plus an evening!) All makes the world of difference. Not forgetting I have Bad Mum, my new baby and the Instagram community that comes with it.
Even if someone has five kids and always appears to be busy that doesn’t mean that aren’t lonely. This person is probably busy being an amazing Mum but who else do they speak too? I think sometimes it is etched onto people’s faces and you can just see when someone is sad, lonely, tired or just needs a good cuddle. I remember feeling like the moment someone asked me if I was OK or just gave me a hug, I would break down.

So, this is where #YoureNotAlone comes into play. I am starting a new campaign and for the next couple of weeks I want people to open up about loneliness by either tagging a friend in the comments so we can all follow them and say hello or take a photo with the #YoureNotAlone tag to show we all get lonely or write about your experiences like I have here. The more we open up, the more we speak about it, the more we show it affects us all, the more we remember it is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about; the more we will feel more comfortable in saying “I feel lonely today”, the more it will help and change the stigma of being alone.

All my photos were taken indoors, just me and Jake. 

Trust me, saying them words are so hard but once you do you will feel like a weight has been lifted and a new door may open or a new friend may appear. Even from speaking to someone in the comments section or sending someone a DM can pass an hour or two; and break the routine. Just reach out and simply say “Hi” to someone or pay that person a compliment as you never know but that simple action could save someone.

Please join in with the #YoureNotAlone campaign and open up, reach out, help one another or just give someone a smile that might need it. I can now say yes, I was very lonely and felt alone and now I never want anyone else to go through that if I can help it.

Follow the #YoureNotAlone movement and give everyone a virtual hug. We are all in the same boat after all. 

Show me your #YoureNotAlone tags! 


24 March 2017

Advert: Love For The Mama

Love for the Mama was set up by a mama on maternity leave with her second daughter. Realising very quickly life with two girls was crazy, she started writing down slogans that related to the madness of her day as a mother and she wanted to share it with other women and their children. 

"When I started Love For The Mama, for me it was all about making mamas feel supported and loved. I wanted them to be carefree of others' opinions and to send a message that even though at times we look like we are just surviving, we know we are blessed, that we experience a love like no other and to not underestimate us!"

Love For The Mama also organises Mama Meet Up's in the West Midlands and Warwickshire and with our first one being well received, you can look forward to more in the near future. In fact the next one is with the lovely women Steph Douglas founder of Don't Buy Her Flowers and Lauren Taylor co-founder of KOKOSO BABY organic premium coconut oil on Thursday 27th April in Leamington Spa. £1 of every ticket sale goes to Kicks Count. 

I would LOVE one of Kayla's tops, I think they are brilliant! To see the whole range of clothes and all the details about events coming up (and more) just click here.

Love For The Mama @loveforthemama 

If you would like to put an advert here then please drop me an email.


Feature: Your Health Hit

My 5 top health myths totally busted, that will make your day!

#1. Stay away from the fattening Peanut butter. Reach for Almond Butter instead!

Poor old Peanut butter has had such a bad rap since Almond Butter came on the scene. But actually these two nut butters are basically equals nutritionally ( bar a few minor differences ), both should be used sparingly if you’re trying to keep your weight down, however can be enjoyed daily on rye toast, in your protein shake, smeared on celery or a piece of apple! Both are healthy protein packed choices ( go for organic where possible ). So it’s more of a taste, price and environmental impact preference. Almond Butter is more expensive and requires more water to grow.

#2. All chocolate is bad for you!

If you’re taking about the junk chocolate bar, then yes it is bad for you due to the likely refined sugar and additives. BUT quality dark chocolate on the other hand is incredibly good for you. And thank god because I struggle a day without it. It can have a profound positive affect on our health. Here are some of the benefits to eating a small amounts of quality dark chocolate daily: Maintains heart health, improves mood under pressure, modulates healthy blood flow so is good for the skin ( ironic right! ), contains powerful antioxidants, can act as a prebiotic, cellular repair and anti ageing ( YES! ) TIP: reach for the dark choice 85% or more with the least amount of sugar in it as possible. Sugar will undo all the above. There are so many great brands out there now without being loaded with sugar. Find one that works for your taste buds. I have an amazing recipe for Chocolate Spaghetti Bolognese! Nom nom nom.

#3. Missing breakfast helps you lose weight!

Breakfast is such an important meal. I bang on about this on my blog all the time. It’s also my favourite time of day. But it’s important because when we’re asleep, we are also 'fasting' for about eight hours, so it’s pretty important to break this by having some food when we get up. FACT: People who skip breakfast are unlikely to catch up on all the vitamins and minerals having breakfast provides later on in the day. A protein boost first thing in the morning boosts our natural metabolism for fat burning too. Win win!

#4. All processed foods are bad for you!

In some cases this is true, but a lot of processed foods are just as healthy, and sometimes even more healthy than fresh foods. This all depends on how they are processed and for what purpose was the food designed. For example, frozen fruit and frozen vegetables are usually processed within hours of being picked. Because hardly any nutrients get lost in the freezing process they stay very healthy. They are often cheaper for you to buy too, which makes them a fantastic option to help make up your 7 a day! I love to use frozen spinach and berries in my shakes, and the frozen berries in my pancake mixture are amazing! PS: Did you know that even oxygen has an E number, so not all E numbers are bad for us either. And there are many ingredients ( that we can’t pronounce ) that are naturally sourced compounds and ingredients. Therefore the saying that goes “ if you can’t pronounce it, then don’t eat it! “ also not entirely true. One of the ingredients of a all-natural banana is “3-Methylbutyl” which is a natural flavour.

#5. I have to exercise everyday or whats the point!?

Utter rubbish. Remember the 80 / 20 rule. If you eat a balanced diet ( most of the time ) and add even moderate exercise, such as walking, gardening, playing games, dancing or doing other forms of exercise can have fantastic benefits. Just imagine what walking the kids to school could do!
I track my progress on my apple watch and simply walking around the house and collecting the kids from school can amount to 15,000 steps and 10 hours of standing time. If you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness and strengthen your muscles then aim for a 20-45min ‘workout’ 3-4 times a week, mix it up with cardio, strength training and stretching, all of which don’t require the gym or equipment. The higher the intensity the session, the less the duration you need to workout. No excuses. Get to it!

For more rants from one busy woman and mum to another. Check out for weekly rants, recipes and workouts you can do with your kids! be healthy doesn’t have be boring! #choosebalance

23 March 2017


I think it’s fair to say that I’ve always been a mummy’s boy. So when I lost my mum a part of my world faded forever… Sadly, we found out that she had just days to live on the afternoon of our 20 week pregnancy scan.

Now, this post isn’t supposed to be about the death of my mother. On the contrary, it’s to celebrate and honour the influence my mum has had on me and how her legacy lives on through my parenting.

I don’t want my son to miss out on her love but the sad reality is he won’t have a choice… However, I like to think that it was my mother’s groundwork that has created the Dad I am today. The more I look, the more I realise that it manifests itself throughout my life. My wife helps too, on birthdays she sets out a birthday table with a candle, cards, presents, tea and breakfast. This is exactly what my mum did for us all and it feels really special.

So how has this impacted on my parenting style?  I find that I am playing the role of mother a lot when we visit Grandad, I try to bring the chat and warmth that she always exuded. Always redressing the balance, pointing out the birds in the garden and showing him family pictures.

Perhaps I have become a more considered father as a result of the loss of her. I focus on creating sweet childhood memories for our boy as these are all I have left myself. I’m keen to represent my mum as she can’t do so in person, so trips to M&S for a coffee (her favourite) and even the weekly shop with the toddler in tow feels like a nod to her.

Finally, I often find that during those dark hours, if I dig deep enough, I can work out what my mum would have done. It helps so much. It may be the worst ever consolation prize…but I’ll take it!

Written by Thomas (@blag_dad)


Feature: Fashion with Carrie

4 Minimalist Ways to Style a Midi Skirt with Fashion Playground

I’ve rounded up 4 minimalists takes on the midi skirt to inspire you for spring. If you fancy a change from your jeans but think skirts might not be appropriate, then think again! The midi skirt is perfect for this seasonal transition and looks great on any shape and age. It’s practical and versatile and I am going to show you some great examples of how to wear it with a casual day-to-day vibe.

Number 1. Pair our off the shoulder poplin shirt with an A-line skirt and mules for a chic vibe.

Number 2. Alternatively, match our logo sweatshirt with a plain midi for a casual and cool take on the trend. Put on a pair of Converse and your back in the 90’s. (This is a good thing in 2017!)

Number 3. One of my favourite pieces this time of year is my trusty black polo neck. Team with our metallic pencil skirt and look super chic. This look will take you from desk to disco in a flash. Wear with pumps or heels. The choice is yours.

Number 4. The metallic midi trend is not slowing down. Wear ours with a white tee tucked in with an oversized denim jacket and a pair of trainers for that lunch date or glam up with heels and cami for the evening. It is so versatile and is an easy way to add metallic to your wardrobe.

Written by Carrie from Fashion Playground (@fashion.playground)

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