Gender neutral parenting

I’ve written about gender stereotyping before and while I’m open to S playing with every toy out there, I got to be honest, S is a total “boys boy”! He loves running, mud, cars, diggers, fire engines and wrestling. And the fact is he doesn’t like those things because that’s all I encouraged, he naturally gravitates towards those things on his own accord.

I’ve been reading a lot recently about gender neutral parenting and I have to be totally honest, I just don’t understand it. There’s a family in Canada who have a 3 year old named Storm and they haven’t “announced” whether Storm is a girl or boy yet. And in Sweden last year, they added the word “hen” to their vocabulary which essentially means “it”, rather than refer to a child as “him” or “her”.

When I think of gender neutral parenting, I think of raising our children to believe that they can be anything they want. That a boy can go on to work as a carer/nurse and a girl can go on to work as a construction manager. Both typically dominated by either men or women. I don’t think of raising my child so he doesn’t associate with being a boy. Because the fact is, he is! And that wasn’t a choice I made or one that he made. That is a God/Universe given choice. So to deny him his gender, in the name of social change would be wrong, in my humble opinion.

The fact is, boys and girls ARE different. But boys and other boys are different and girls and other girls are different. And let’s be honest, unless you’re willing to keep your child cocooned at home or only surrounded by people living the same ethos as you, your child is going to be subjected to everyone else’s idea of gender. And that’s just the way the world is.

Do I believe that toys should be split into boys toys and girls toys? No.

Do I believe that girls should be pushed to sit down and play nicely while boys get away with running around like hooligans? No.

Do I think all girls should be in pink and all boys should be in blue? Definitely not.

But I think children should be allowed to choose. S, who loves cars, diggers and trucks, also calls me his “Fairy Princess Mama” and is a fan of Elsa & Anna. He can belt out most of “Let it go” while also owning no less than forty variations of cars. It’s all about balance and allowing our children to find their feet. Not disassociating them with who they really are.

#WhatWoodYouPlay Fire Station Review

If you have a toddler, you’ll know how easy it is to end up collecting lots of colourful plastic toys! Birthday party return gifts, toddler tantrums in the supermarket because they want yet another fire engine/digger/police car, birthday presents, Christmas presents, visiting uncles/aunts presents, generous friends presents, bribe presents, flying presents….you get the gist! S had 3 different toy boxes over flowing with every mode of transport you can imagine! And I don’t mind that he has that many, it’s when they start breaking and pieces fall off that it gets to me. And the problem with plastic, especially plastic toys made in China is that it happens quite often.

My brother bought S an aeroplane the last time he was here and spent a fair amount of money on it. Right from day 1, the pieces never quite fit together properly and they were constantly falling off. It really bugs the perfectionist in me! So when George at Asda got in touch giving us the opportunity to review one of their Wooden Toys as part of their #WhatWoodYouPlay campaign, I jumped at the chance. I’m on a few mum groups in the UK and have only heard rave reviews about their selection of wooden toys, this was my chance to see for myself.

S absolutely loves fire engines and so my obvious choice of Wooden toys was their awesome fire station. Once ordered, it arrived fairly quickly and I couldn’t wait to put it together. I was in the process of redecorating S’s room and moving him into it and the fire station worked as a great incentive for him.


I was quite impressed with the packaging and the way every piece was numbered, making it quite simple to put together. The booklet mentions 45 minutes as guideline to put it together but it took me closer to 2 hours. That may or may not have something to do with my little helper constantly trying to “read his newspaper” (the instruction manual). Word of advice, put it together when your kids aren’t around or like me, you may have your bedroom turned into Narnia with styrofoam snow!




S absolutely loves his new fire station and insists on “rescuing people” every evening before he goes to bed. The fire station is sturdy, the colours are bright and it comes with quite a few extra bits and bobs. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of were the actual firemen and the size of the fire engine but seeing as S has quite a few fire engines, we just used those instead. Without all the lights and sounds that are common to plastic toys, wooden toys have the ability to develop a child’s imagination. We’ve only had the fire station for 2 weeks but I can already see S making up new stories each evening and it takes centre stage amongst all his toys. And I’m happy we don’t have bits and pieces falling off!


With Christmas around the corner, I’ll definately be popping over to order him something solid from their range of wooden toys.

*We were sent this complimentary fire station but all opinions are honest and my own.

Family Fever



“A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

Sunday rides through our local park. Today was such a gorgeous September day….long may it last!

The Family Travel Show, Olympia Oct 31st – Nov 1st

If you’re busy the last weekend in October, cancel all plans because you don’t want to miss this! The Family Travel Show is coming to Olympia. It’s the UK’s first ever event, totally dedicated to Family Travel. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?!

Family holidays are the chance to create memories to cherish. Whether you’re holidaying with your kids or your parents, there is always so much to see and do. In the last year we’ve visited Cebu, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Morocco to name a few and I truly believe that every holiday has even taught S, who is still so young, so much. He comes back having seen so much more and done so much more than he usually would. People often comment that he won’t remember all these holidays. But the way I see it, it adds joy to his upbringing. He may not remember them all in years to come, but they would have played a small part in the person who grows up to be.

The Family Travel Show will give you the chance to get face-to-face with the best family holiday providers and specialist operators all under one roof, take advantage of exclusive show-only offers and competitions, gather impartial advice and inspiration, and of course quiz the experts on those all important questions.

Whether you’re looking to do some research on your next perfect family holiday or simply want to have a browse of all the amazing places you could visit, there’s all that and more at the Family Show.

I am giving 1 lucky person the chance to win a pair of tickets to the show! Just answer this simple question below:

Where is The Family Travel Show taking place??

Answers in the comments please. A winner will be picked at random on Monday 5th of October.

UK participants only.

*The tickets will be provided by The Family Travel Show

**Competition winner will receive their tickets ahead of the show



“A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

Learning how to use chopsticks the proper way :)

Man Up – A review

I love love! I love romance! I love London! And I love romantic movies based in London! Love Actually, The Holiday…love them both!

So when I saw the trailer for “Man Up” I thought I have to watch it. But life took hold of all my time and before I knew it, it had come and gone. Thankfully, it was showing on Cathay Pacific when I flew to Hong Kong earlier this month. I watched it and of course, I loved it!

Man Up is about 2 people, Nancy (Lake Bell) and Jack (Simon Pegg) who accidentally meet under the clock at Waterloo Station. Jack mistakes Nancy for his blind date and Nancy, who vowed to take more chances in the New Year, ran with it. What followed was the best first blind date. That is until Jack found out the truth.


What I loved about the movie was it’s honesty. It’s not all bells and whistles in your 30s and 40s. When dating we come to the table with so much baggage. Some light, some heavy, but it’s there either way. Navigating relationships in your 30s is a lot tougher than in your 20s and requires a lot more alcohol!!

Lake Bell did a brilliant job with her English accent!! Man Up is a totally realistic view of the modern dating scene (drunken meltdowns included) with a happy ending. What more can you ask for?!

Breast is best BUT….

These days you can’t scroll down your Facebook feed without seeing a HuffPost Article on Breastfeeding or a picture of someone breastfeeding in public. And while it’s great that there is so much encouragement to breastfeed, I think people need to stop and consider those who *can’t* breastfeed.

When I was pregnant, no one told me how difficult it would be. No one told me about the cracked and bleeding nipples, no one talked to me about latch and no one described the guilt I would feel at not being able to do it. My cousin just had a baby and I was talking to her about feeding when she described similar issues. And the guilt she feels and as we spoke, she said she was glad she wasn’t the only one. I was quite surprised because she did quite a bit of reading before giving birth and yet she felt alone. And I’d felt the same way 3 1/2 years ago.

So when I see pictures and posts that are pro-breastfeeding, I wish they’d describe how tough it can be. Because even these posts make out like its the most natural thing in the world. And the fact is, it isn’t for everyone.

These days science has advanced so much that formula is almost as good as breast milk. It carries all the same nutrition and minerals. Some people claim that breast milk builds your child’s immunity and helps create a bond between mother and child. I’d just like to state, in my humble opinion, that is utter rubbish! S has a great immune system, even though he was practically formula fed from birth and for those that know us, there’s no lack of a bond there. In fact if you lined up a bunch of school kids, I’d bet you wouldn’t be able to spot those that were formula fed and those that were breastfed.

This post is not anti breastfeeding. If it’s possible, I’m all for it. I just think there needs to be more support for those that can’t. For those that want to but aren’t able to. For those that feel such guilt because society makes them feel that if they don’t breastfeed, they’re doing a disservice to their children. The fact is, they’re not. Whether they can’t or won’t, it really is each individual’s choice.

So to those sitting on a bit of a high horse because they were able to feed until 6 months, 12 months or even 2 years, I encourage them to reach out to friends and family who are pregnant and talk them through all the challenges. And reassure them that their kids are going to be amazing, EVEN if they aren’t breastfed!

At the end of the day, all babies really need is this little thing called LOVE!

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“A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

There are moments; moments where you literally feel your heart swell with pride. This was one of them. I don’t even need to say anything to S. I just look at him and he takes the words right out of my mouth. “I look so handsome mama.” #lovelikenoother

Mazagan Beach Resort, Morocco

When you’re a child, planning a summer holiday was easy. Parents tended to pick the most child friend places/places they knew there child would enjoy and off they went. As a family, we’re all grown up now, but we still go on family holidays. It’s gotten a tad harder to please 4 adults (and 1 child who’s really just happy to go on an aeroplane).

This year we thought we’d go on a cruise because it has something to suit everyone. After much research, it was decided that we’d in fact rather go somewhere closer to home on this occasion. And so with only 2 weeks until the days we had booked off, we started looking into Morocco.

After much more research, whatsapp messages going back and forth and lot’s of “I’m okay with anything”, it was decided. 2 days in Casablanca, 4 days at the Mazagan Beach Resort & 3 days in Marrakech. To be perfectly honest, there’s not that much to see in Casablanca. For me, the highlight of our trip was the 4 days at Mazagan Beach Resort. Set on the Northern coast of Africa, it has everything I’d look for in a family holiday. Good weather, a kids club, huge swimming pools, a beach, a selection of restaurants and bars. They also have a huge golf course (if that’s your thing) and a casino.




For families, the great thing about MBR would be their clubs. There’s a baby club from age 6 months to 4 years. A kids clubs from 4 years to 7 years and another one for 7 year olds to 12 year olds. The baby club even factors in nap time. The kids club include activities like ping pong, swimming, tennis, arts and crafts and volleyball on the beach. Although we didn’t leave S at any of the clubs, I could see the other children having a really good time. We did avail of the baby sitting services and although the sitter just sat in a dark room while S slept, she was sweet enough to keep in touch with me on whatsapp and reassure me that he was still sleeping.



MBR doesn’t forget the adults amongst all the fun child friendly activities. As part of the resort, you get access to their many activities, many of which are free. There’s archery, paint balling, horse riding, go karting and of course golf. To add to that, they have an amazing spa as well. I totally recommend the cabana massage. A one hour massage, in a cabana, sitting atop a cliff, overlooking the ocean. Amazeballs!!



We stayed there on a bed & breakfast basis which gave us the opportunity to try the various restaurants at the resort. No Michelen stars are going to be handed out any time soon, but the food wasn’t bad. My favourite restaurants were the Pizzeria and the BBQ Beach restaurant. Sharing the same roof, on the beach, it must be something in the air. On one of the nights we dined at the restaurant that served multi cuisine, for the guests on an all-inclusive board, and the food selection was pretty good that night.





There are direct flights on Royal Air Moroc and Easy Jet to Casablanca and the resort is about an hour’s drive from there. It’s just under 3 hours from London Heathrow which makes it pretty easy to get to. I reckon 5 days is enough but we did bump into a family who were there for 11 nights!! Blimey!

Sun, sea, sand, swimming pools and a bouncy castle, that’s all kids want really. Perfect for a family sun holiday!



“A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015.”

S and his bestie monkeying around at the playground. Making the most of the beautiful London summer :)