cardboard toys

cardboard toys

Newest obsession: toys made from cardboard. Because they’re simple, beautiful, storable and disposable. Recyclable, even! We’re trying hard to live with less, but it’s a struggle to let go – especially when it comes to things Orla has loved. Cardboard has its own in-built limited lifespan, removing the obligation to keep anything forever. Plus, before all that, we can draw on it, glue to it, cut it and bend it and play in a thousand…

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more notes for my daughter

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Let her learn from my mistakes, please. Part one here. Be you. The world will adjust. Say no to the things you don’t want to do – you don’t need an excuse. Eat junk food while your metabolism is good. School is great, but educate yourself on the things they leave out, too; money, things that grow, gender issues, life hacks, health, and how to make dinner out of one bendy carrot and some old…

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Steller app

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Have you discovered the Steller app yet? I’m a bit obsessed… It’s a storytelling app that feels like a total game changer for all social media. Who wants a blog post when you can have a beautiful, photo heavy, swipeable mini book? I’m still getting to grips with it all but you can find my profile here or by clicking the images in this post to see my latest ‘stellers’. Be sure to check out…

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all wrapped up

A little ode to babywearing – one of the few parenting tips I offer to any new/expectant parents I meet. Not that I know all the answers, but because the stretchy sling I bought before Orla was born was possibly the best parenting decision I have made. The other mamas I know using slings & wraps all say the same thing, too: this is a life hack – a parenting hack – that makes those…

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in Orla’s bag

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Not the ubiquitous ‘what’s in my bag’ post (crushed baby crisps, used tissues & the same novel I’ve been reading for the last 7 months, of course!), but Orla’s bag, a snapshot of her little life, right now. ‘Ba’!’ she exclaims, dragging it along the cobbles behind her; sitting with it on the doorstep, waiting to go. Packing and unpacking it just for fun, occasionally stealing other people’s belongings to make it more fun. Here’s…

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lions & fleabags

My friend Helen writes & illustrates the most wonderful books for children. She’s also one of my favourite people ever, a hugely inspirational mama and has a wardrobe full of Things I Want to Steal, but they don’t seem to mention that much when they read her stories on cbeebies/Blue Peter, or when she illustrates a new Michael Morpurgo book. Weird. Anyway, she’s given me a stack of some of her most popular books to…

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baby changing

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A strange sadness, to leave the house Orla knows so well. She’s splashed in this bath since her very first week; she knows which wobbly floorboards to skip, as she leads my by the hand to bed. She knows where the raisins are kept, and the way to the park, and the best windows to watch the chickens from. She has her little habits and routines in this space, and I can’t explain to her…

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Imperfectly

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It’s much too easy to let my blog & instagram slide into being part of the ‘perfect life’ myth – that idea that everyone else has everything great, & you’re the only one dealing with the crap. So, to redress the balance: I have really bad anxiety. I sometimes cancel plans because leaving the house seems too overwhelming that day. I freak out about filling in forms or phoning my car insurance provider or going…

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mother’s day

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I found her under a gooseberry bush, which is a euphemism of course for a labour so painful I really-actually thought I was going to die. I did not find childbirth spiritual or beautiful. Instead, it found me, violent & terrifying; a trauma so gruesome that under any other circumstance you’d be given a week in bed, flowers & an appointment with a therapist. But this is an everyday trauma; sitting in cafes, I stared…

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Notes for my Daughter

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  Not sure it’s really possible to fast-track wisdom, but in case it is, & in case I get hit by a bus, etc, an ongoing list:   Read! It doesn’t matter what – it will make your thoughts clearer, your mood lighter & your spelling better. Everyone thinks they are a good driver. Most of the time they are wrong. Perfection is not sustainable. Aim instead for ‘good enough’. Avoid black & white thinking…

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