Tea & Cake

So I love a cake, ok I love lots of cake! Not going to lie the hardest thing about being vegan for me is not being able to just eat any old cake anymore. 

But I love to go for afternoon tea with the girls and I am so thankful when I find a great tea room which can actually make a proper vegan tea. Believe me there have been some disastrous ones, one even gave me soggy (think water on the plate) once frozen red pepper sandwiches and actually no cake at all! Horrendous I know, but sadly true.

Today we went to Laura Kate’s in Welwyn. I have driven past so many times and it’s been on my list to visit for ages. Why oh why did I leave it so long? I could have been scoffing vegan deliciousness for months now. Probably actually great I have not been in before, seeing as I am struggling with this baby weight to be honest! 

The tea room itself is small but lovely, so welcoming and beautifully decorated. It’s girly and pretty without being off putting for the males in your life that you may wish to share cake with. I adore the mid mash china, who on earth needs matching when you can have random floral and vintage prints. I’m a sucker for a floral teapot. 

They have a large choice of teas on offer, as well as coffees and soft drinks. After ordering our teas, we were asked to choose a cupcake as part of our tea. How lovely to be able to choose even as a vegan! I never get choices, there is usually one option. But I could choose between raspberry cheesecake and chocolate & vanilla. The girls could not decide so shared lemon meringue, raspberry cheesecake and a chocolate cupcake.   They were not disappointed. 

The tea stands cane out and our faces lit up. The girls stand looked incredible 

Mine was amazing, I had two scones, my chosen cup cake, a mini Victoria Sponge, a millionaires shortbread, and also something else incredibly delicious but I cannot for the life of me tell you what it was called! Sorry Laura Kate – it was delicious though, so maybe we can just rename it?!  I had interesting sandwiches too, including falafel and also sun-dried tomato. They were super scrummy.

I cannot fault our afternoon – and I’m pretty critical. The service was just wonderful, such friendly staff, attentive but far from annoying. We wanted for nothing, were made to feel incredibly welcome, and very relaxed.  

We shall definitely be returning, I have been raving about it to everyone who will listen.

What’s your favourite place for afternoon tea?

Happy New Year

Here’s to another year, a new diary waiting to be written, memories to be made and adventures to be had. Let’s make this a good one.

So we stayed home for New Years Eve, no surprise there, we have three little ones! Dan cooked a meal, a delicious vegan one for me, and a steak for him ( so grateful I did not have to cook that!). I had a scrummy g&t, cheers to his clients for the large bottle of Hendricks, and he even cut ribbons of cucumber with the potato peeler – cuteness!

G&T, cute cucumber ribbons and slipper socks, styling out 2018!

Little did I realise he wanted to challenge me to a Mario Party game on the Switch! Well it was not exactly how I envisaged my evening, but it was good fun all the same. Although I swear he bought the switch for Grayson for Christmas, so he can play it himself.

Nintendo off for midnight, no way I was missing our fabulous fireworks, London did us proud as usual. We do celebrations well, don’t we.

Perfect start to the year we went off to the woods for a chilly but bright winters walk. Mum and Dad came, plus Katie, Phoebe & Jude. It was so lovely to be out in the fresh air. It’s so important to the children too, they need to run, play and be free. They love the woods, we spent so much time there over the summer but have been a bit rubbish at getting out the past few months as it’s got chillier.

Kisses from Nana

An unbelievable number of shots were taken, and then we gave up on getting them to look / smile / cooperate! They are what they are, and we adore them

Hunting for the painted rocks is their absolute favourite, with every good intention I plan on adding to the rocks in the woods, but I am so artistically challenged! Maybe, probably, ok, definitely I need to get over myself and just do it. Who really is going to judge me, they are anonymous, what am I so scared about? Why am I scared of painting rocks, what on earth is wrong with me?

That’s my thing for 2019, to be me, to be brave, and to just do it, starting with awfully painted rocks it seems.

To sleep or not to sleep

I am sitting here at nearly midnight with a huge to do list that I wanted to complete this evening, yet I have achieved only maybe half of, and now I am sitting taking a break and writing this post.

I’m not me unless I have fingers in way too may pies,  unless I am juggling endless tasks, and am stressing myself out beyond belief.  I cannot take it easy, cannot not volunteer, not offer my help.  I wish I could just keep my mouth shut sometimes and not endlessly offer but it’s just not in my nature.  I think I was made to be busy, I only wish I could somehow allow myself more time, feel less panicked by my endless to do list, and be a little more organised.  

Tomorrow is already crazy busy, full of photo shoots in various locations, children, preparation for the school Christmas Fayre and my book club Christmas Dinner, so now it’s decision time, do I pull an all nighter tonight, can I even do that anymore? My eyes are already burning through lack of sleep last night.  Not sure I can do it, something has to give here, but what do I drop? I cannot let anyone down, arrrrrrgh! 

Usually I thrive under pressure but tonight I feel panicked and stressed and if I am honest I want to cry, probably if I am honest sob.  I’m tired. Maybe this is life after 40? Maybe it’s time to slow down a little — who on earth am I kidding?! I just need sleep, and a step by step plan to tackle the list! Except right now I have deadlines and no time for sleep 🙁 

Here we go again!

Summer has been and gone, and we are heading full steam ahead into the Festive season.  Life has not stopped and has been pretty crazy and full on and this blogging malarkey has failed me so far!  But onwards and upwards and let’s just start over.  Let’s not make this a New Years Resolution to blog, as that will just fail instantly.  Let’s make it a December resolution / challenge instead.  I need to just take the time a few times. a week for me, to write and to think about life.  I need to stop beating myself up about it, I’m doing this for me and nobody else. Of course I want people to stop by and read what I am writing, but I mean I should not feel pressured as its my choice to do this, nobody is asking me or holding a gun to my head.Placeholder Image

Clean eating sucks …..

well today it really does anyway. But we are not giving up.

This is the result of natural yoghurt and fruit, both of which she eats.

And yes she has rubbed it all up her arms like sun cream! Arrrrrgh

Caught in the act …..

This child drives me insane but makes me smile so much my heart could burst. He is so damn naughty and cheeky, but his determination will make him go far, when hopefully channeled in the right direction.

So for his ADHD / Sensory Processing Disorder I try to keep Grayson as sugar free as possible. We are as you know on our clean eating journey, I’ll post more about that later, and he is mostly taking to it quite well. He eats all the meals I prepare, and I have no naughty snacks in the house, just healthy ones.

So yesterday I go into the kitchen and find this …………

Like seriously, this one never misses a window of opportunity! There again neither did photo addict mummy, I grabbed my phone from the counter top and took a photo whilst telling him off and trying not to smile!

The hot chocolate powder is now safely in the bin, so no doubt he will sniff out something else today! I could pimp him out as a sniffer dog, he has an incredible sense of smell.

This mummying is relentless, I cannot turn your back for a second.

Let the clean eating commence

I have for a while now planned on getting Grayson eating clean, and also if possible the rest of us too.  I want him to be sugar free, additive free, preservative free, basically crap free.  I’m hopeful that this might help with his adhd, maybe I am overly hopeful but its worth a try.  Plus its healthier, and if I eat clean too and it makes me feel happier and healthier, then I might be able to find him less stressful.  Here’s hoping!

So every great (and probably failed) diet starts on a Monday right, so did ours.  Nigella I’m not, I’m not a great cook, I’m pretty rubbish in the kitchen to be fair, so this will be a learning curve for me, but one I hope I enjoy.  There already seems to be a lot of ‘hope’ resting on this diet change.

Today I decided to start with lunch.  I chose a few recipes over the weekend which the lovely Ocado man delivered all the ingredients for yesterday. Today’s choice was Carnival Curry and Sunshine Rice from the Ella’s Kitchen Easy Family Cookbook.  To be honest there was nothing remotely technical about making it.  I was pleasantly surprised and was snapping pics as I went with the plan of sharing them on here.  I suddenly realised how automatically I style my photos so they are social media ready.  I looked down at Ruby sitting on the kitchen floor scoffing the remains of a bag of crisps that she had helped herself too out of the pantry – she is clearly protesting this clean eating – and took a pic of her.  I looked down at Hallie screaming in her chair also in the Kitchen with us and took a pic of her too.  So here are my social media ready pics and my honest (harsh) reality pics.  There really is a social media life and then there is real life, right?!

The Instagramable Pics ….


The Reality Pics ….


All certainly was not calm in my kitchen.  Managed to distract Grayson with YouTube though so that helped a little.

Lunch was ready, and this is how Ruby rewarded me for slaving away making them a nice lunch


yes she rolled it around the table with her juice cup!  Grayson tucked in fortunately and ate most of his, BUT managed to spill over two full juice cups all over the table and the floor.

Can’t win them all I guess.  They are at Nanny’s for tea, whilst I take Hallie to the theatre, so over to her.  I’ll have another go tomorrow and see how that goes.

Any clean eating tips will be gratefully received as will quick, easy and tasty recipes.


Oh Baby Girl

So today I got to see Hallie’s consultant. She has a twitch that she has had since birth. It’s more of a tremor to be honest and is actually really beginning to worry me as its getting worse and worse. It is really juddery, almost fit like, and is in her arms and legs and pretty much her whole body. She started off just doing it in her sleep but now she is doing it when crying too.

So I was expecting to be a little fobbed off to be honest, was not expecting much from this appointment. How wrong was I! The lovely consultant took a lot of time to talk it through, and seemed genuinely interested, which is always reassuring. I showed her the videos I had taken, which kind of captured the ends of the episodes, funnily enough I do not have my phone poised to film at all times. She said they did not look like normal sleep twitches, which is what was suggested it was originally, so they need to be investigated. The word seizure was used a fair bit and that terrifies me.

So in the next couple of weeks we have to have blood tests, an EEG (looking at brain activity) and an MRI. She is only five weeks old, it all seems so wrong and not something a tiny person should be dealing with. Well actually nobody should be going through it, but a baby, it just seems so scary.

Just when I thought we were done with all the hospital time, looks like we are back again. Praying my baby girl is ok, whatever it is we will get through it, however we need to. She is lying in my arms as I type this, and is looking up at me with her knowing, trusting, beautiful eyes. I won’t let her down, I won’t leave her side. However worrying this is, we will get through it together.

Maternity Ward Nights

So I am trying, trying really hard to think kind thoughts, to send good wishes, to share calming vibes, but I just want to scream SHUT THE *^#+ UP. I feel so mean, so nasty, but so tired and in pain too. Plus my partner is not here talking in a loud normal level voice on the phone at 5am for the whole ward to hear. I can rein in my desire to scream at the labouring mummy, but omg, I am about to tell him to leave the ward, hang up or to bloody whisper.

Labour is different for everyone I one I know that, and having had two emergency sections I guess in a way I have escaped the labour pains, I get the excruciating c section pain afterwards and the sickness, so it’s not all good. But I like to think we are quiet and considerate, well at least my visitors are and I try to whimper quietly.

I adore our nhs I truly truly do, we are truly blessed to have it. I can not fault it, and I am being cared for beautifully. But in instances like this I am all for fundraising for sound proof rooms in every labour ward for the second the pain kicks in. Surely it makes life easier for everyone, the labouring mummy can be as noisy as she damn well likes, the partner can freak out, call the entire world, loose the ability to think, and the rest of us can sleep / not be terrified by what’s to come – which surely makes life easier for the midwives as we are hassling them less and therefore much calmer in our own pain.

Even typing this I feel mean, but it’s what everyone in my bay is thinking right now.


Today is Pride Day, and I’ve been looking at photos all over social media and smiling.  Smiling at the smiles, smiling at the happiness, the colours, the ‘**** you’ nature of the banners & posters being held, smiling at the joy, the unity, the equality. Life should be like this always,  it’s shiny and happy and rainbow coloured. We all need more love and happiness in our lives.

It breaks my heart to think of predjuduce and inequality. What right do we have to judge who somebody loves? Love is a good thing, love wins, so who the heck cares who it’s with. In a world full of torment, hatred, war, we need more love. Our children need love, our elderly neighbours need love, the homeless guy on the corner needs love, gosh even the in laws need love! Love is what keeps us together, it’s what helps us through the tough times and floats us through the good times. It should be what makes the world go around, although I think it could do with a little more right now.

Grayson’s friend has two daddy’s, who are amazing. I just wish that everyone saw it the way a three year old boy does. He just accepts that his friend has two daddy’s and he knows that some children have two mummy’s, some have a mummy & a daddy like he does, others have maybe just a mummy, or just a daddy. He does not question, he just accepts and this is truly beautiful. We need to be bringing our children up with love and acceptance and not with bitterness and prejudice. They are our future.

I pray that everyone has a joyous and safe Pride, and that the love flows.