The Stare

So it happened
It took 2 1/2 years to happen but it did
we got the stare
you know, the one where someone is judging you and your parenting
and it bothered me
I wanted to go over to the judgemental lady and tell her...
we are good parents
we are on our holidays
he is a good boy 99% of the time
now is the 1 %
now is the time we parent via YouTube so that you get to eat your fish and chips in peace and not be terrorised by an over tired and vocal toddler
now is the time that I feel like I have to justify my parenting to you and i have never set eyes on you before
now is the time when I want to go and say stop staring, didn't anyone tell you it's rude
stop whispering to your friends/ husband/ sister
we are not bothering you
you are however bothering me and my enjoyment with my family who I only get to see a couple of times a year
I know I should ignore
but it's really hard
as we all know, this parenting business is blooming hard
we are doing ok
we have a happy MiniMonkey
that's all that matters
so to all the starers/ mutterers/ judgers
Leave us Be


Another month, another hashtag and another blog post.
Nope. Not one bit...
Ok, maybe my skinny wrists and wonky smile but that's about it.
It's been 7 years since a I was at my skinniest, 2 and a half since the MiniMonkey arrived, and 36 successful years of cake!
I am the definition of a yo yo dieter: I know exactly what I need to be eating and I love going to the gym but…..that mojo. Gone. However, last month I had one of those 'enough is enough' moments. I cannot remain being unfit if I want to be running round the park like a loon and take him on long walks and not need to sit down after 10mins!
So I have joined a local ‘muscle’ gym. I bloomin love it!  In 3 weeks I am slowly getting my confidence back. It isn't about loving the overall outside package….I'm nowhere near that point yet, but I am starting to find me again and surely we start from the inside out!?
My love of cake shall never die and I am not destined to live a paleo, raw, gluten free life! I will, however, get strong and learn to #lovemybod again. I've only got the one and I can’t afford a trade in!
First published on MeetOtherMums

AndSoWeWent // Bardolino

So it is Tuesday morning and I am up and in town before 9am
Feeling quite smug as I am not one of the commuters this morning.
(I'm not lazy btw, I'm just used to being at work in London town by now!)
I am off to sample the delights of Marco Pierre Whites latest offering: Bardolino at The Cube
The website promoises authentic Italian pizza and pasta along with brunch in a super relaxed dining atmosphere
Best stop talking and head on in. 
A wonderful transformation from its previous incarnation of a gym cafe.
Rustic, homely, fresh herbs on the table and a wall of windows so you can see the canal whatever the weather 
Coffee. Yes!
The fanciest coffee cup I've seen in a while.
Winner. Good body, decent hit of caffine and not just a glass of warm milk
Everything from porridge to the full 'Marco' is on offer for us to sample this morning 
First up bagels. 
I go for the Elvis Presley. Peanut butter and banana. Sweet and salty always a good combo.
Cooked breakfast comes in an iron cast dish and is just the right size. 
I'm a bit of a sausage snob (stop it now), these are wonderful and are great with the homemade baked beans.
My go to menu choice: scrambled eggs and bacon....not your usual kind tho. Pancetta , sourdough and perfect scrambled eggs.
Porridge with coconut milk and fresh expected this is not your average bowl of porridge oats. And something lighter if your not a big breakfast kinda person.
Ooooo fresh mango juice. Yummy.
As we are all about the MiniMonkey I soon find out this joyous news:
Kids eat free all day everyday!
No worrying about having to share your own food
Although brand spanking new (the finishing touches are just being done) it is chilled and perfect for lone working in the window (plug sockets along the whole brench), brunch with the MiniMonkey or grab a group of people you love and sit round the big centre tables and fight over the breadsticks.
A really nice introduction to Bardolino; and the staff, management and exec team were so very welcoming and certainly knew their stuffs.
We shall be back and will be putting the kids menu to the test
Cheers guys 

AndSoWeSaw // ReinRaumRaus


I saw On The Edge pop up on my timeline a few weeks ago
An arts festival for children? Perfect for the MiniMonkey
So many shows to chose from so we settled on ReinRaumRaus
Also booked in Daddy Monkey and Grumpa
Arrived at Mac Birmingham and I'm ashamed to say it's the first time i've been
What a phenomenal building
Waiting patiently outside with around 50 children aged between teeny to school aged
In we go (not sure who's more excited; me or the MiniMonkey)
The performance space smells of waffles. Now I'm hungry
And so we begin.
MiniMonkey didn't blink for the whole time.
He was captivated by what goes on in the kitchen when you try to make waffles.
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Milk falling out of draws, leaky ceilings, stacking bowls, dancing with spoons. handstands in giant pans and making giant cups of tea
I was worried about Daddy Monkey, this really isn't his thing. He came along as I promised i'd feed him afterwards!
He really enjoyed it as did Grumpa
The perfect finishing touch was bring the kids all together at the end (there's a little more to it but i don't want to ruin it if you ever get to go!)
When it comes around next year, you need to get your tickets. It was a great way to expose the kids to performance and embrace your inner kid

Thank you On The Edge for letting me watch a performance through my MiniMonkeys eyes
It awakened my own inner MiniMonkey
Until next year...

AndSoWeWent // Local Drinks Market

I won a Facebook competition (result)
So off me and bestmate: notmysonsdad lele (long story might even get it's own blog) go to Digbeth
Story of our lives….we were late!
Snuck into the back of our first masterclass with the lovely The Gintleman
Who knew Aldi gin is pretty awesome
Quick: we've got 15 minutes before our next class
Didn't have enough time to eat
Snuck into back of next class with our chips! (do you see a pattern here)
Low ABV cocktails this time with The Edgbaston
Super yummy...don't think they are low ABV when you have more than 1!
Discovered Yuzu liqueur- very good stuffs
Next stop the exhibition hall.
Found our friend 40 st. Paul's (am in love with their Rhubard Reviver)
Am now the proud owner of bottle 57 of their Hockley tonic
Quick....Next class
Not late! Result!
Basil and gin it's a winner
So is pineapple mint (promise it's a real herb and not made up)
last class
Very excited for this one
Cheese tart - very good
Lele had minor freak at the ant topping (has a phobia of dead insects. Alive are fine. Dead not)
Whisky ice cream that wasn't ice cream
Lele really liked this. Me not so much, never been a fan of whisky even the good stuffs
The finale
Apple crumble jammy dodger
Stumbled back into town
Coffee and cake at Faculty (vain attempt to soak up alcohol)
Winner number 2
Train home.
Massive nap.
I cannot thank The Food and Drinks Events guys enough we had a wicked day and shall be back next year

Commuting Woes

For my ‘dayjob’ i commute to London 3 days a week
I am on the train
I sit in the quiet zone
I think the reason for this is in the title of the carriage

Over the past 12 months I have seen many things in the quiet zone
Phone calls
Very loud phone calls
Phone calls so loud I can hear them through my noise cancelling headphones
Infuriates me
 Loud laptop typers
The type of typers that are angryallthetimeandhitthespacebarEXTRAhardfordramaticeffect
Some people do not understand table etiquette
Let me give you a visual 
so, where should the next person sit?????
I know my fellow commuter that you understand the rules

3 can sit opposite as I’d rather spread out my stuff sideways
I have seen 2 grown men argue about an arm rest
They even dragged the train manager into it
Manager had the best response…..Move seats most of the carriage is empty
Neither one moved! (I seem a little more normal now about my seating preference!)

I saw a woman arrested because she had the wrong ticket on the wrong train and refused to pay for a new one
She also refused to give her name to the train manager
She also refused to sign the paperwork to say she refused all the other things she refused

I’ve seen people argue over exactly what ‘quiet’ means
I think it should be renamed the silent carriage (stolen from a comedian from Mock The Week)

For now I continue my commute, and I continue to be angry at those who make noise in my carriage.
Occasionally I speak up
No one has shouted at me...yet.