Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Why I left facebook

Aside from the obvious depressing political tirade that we cannot avoid nowadays (I choose to remain informed by credited sources, not a constant barrage of shared articles which may or may not have an inkling of truth behind them), I’m ever so sick of scrolling endless shares of ‘funny pet’ videos - whose pets are they, yours? no? Five minute recipes that people didn’t create themselves - is this pinterest? I could go on and on.

What I fail to see is some sort of semblance of the friendships I so lovingly formed through various stages of my life. Their faces replaced by extreme views, endlessly preaching - to whom? The choir of your bubble? Chances are, if we’re friends, we’ve got the same views. If we’re family, we’re probably on the fence, but I still love you unconditionally.

I don’t want to hate my friends. I don’t want to hate my family. There’s already too much hate out there.

What about updates on the positives of your life. And the negatives too. How the hell have you been? Tell me about your day. Lets plan a meet up while we’re at it. Or if you're on the other side of the pond, lets snail mail endless chocolate packages to one another. Hell, if you're on this side of the pond, lets snail mail endless chocolate packages to one another.

How about it, eh?

Not even a full day into dropping that ghastly forum, a miracle has happened. Today my ever silent phone rang through to voicemail. I picked it right back up and spent an hour on a long overdue catch up with a part of my life whom I've missed dearly. Later, my inbox pinged with two emails. Pen-friend in length, to which I quickly and lovingly responded. It feels good to have real friends. Real voices telling this girl that she's not alone.

She’s still got friends. She’s still got family. Unconditionally. Cause that's what it should be about, right?

So long Facebook.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Lazy Day Links

I hope ya'll have had a good week and enjoy the much needed wind down.
Over hear we're musing about green smoothies, eating healthier, renovating our living space, and sad about a little piece of my childhood that was lost today (sleep sweet John Hurt).

Here are some little links I stumbled on over the week. Happy weekend folks:

Could you go a year without spending

Obituaries for teenage girls who are “dying” 

Life changing habits

Small space living. As a family of three in a one bedroom apartment, I'm curating lots of ideas to help us stay cozy. 

My kind of King Cake!  

In need of not living with a top bun everyday. So simple

Kim Keever’s incredible art.

I would like to add this book to my shelf. 

Cooking little foods with the help of these recipes.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Love. Roast potatoes. Space. Hold Back the Stars

On Tuesday night I had the opportunity to share in Katie Khan’s big night, celebrating her debut novel Hold Back the Stars.

K.K. looking like a stunner

Max and Carys are falling through space with ninety minutes of air. Their love story dissected amidst their struggle to survive. A story of soulmated love set in a utopian future, pulled together by roast potatoes. Yes, roast potatoes. With beautifully written exerts touching issues that ring hauntingly true, I had to drop reading the book in front of Baxter for fear that he’d sense my tears (thank god for his easy distraction of That’s Not My Teddy).

stars stars stars

"we're going to die"

With write ups in Vogue and Stylist, touting it as the new One Day, this is a book that I recommend 100 percent.
Bax and I even dedicated our latest baking session to it:

Add it to your collection tomorrow by supporting your local bookstore or buying it here.
(Released in the US on 23 May 2017 - preorder here)

What I wore:


Monday, 23 January 2017

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo

We were joined at the zoo with Bax’s aunty for some much needed family time today. The footfall was super quiet inside, which is slightly ironic for a place smack dab in the midst of an ever bustling city.

Each time we pace the zoo I make sure to take a different way around. Wandering left, where I last wandered right. Heading to the gorillas before we head to the penguins. A little variety in something that could possibly get same-y too quickly. The animals sensed the fact that Ann hadn’t been there since she was five. All coming out to show off. 

hello penguins

A silverback stood poised in front of the glass window, just feet away, staring directly into our eyes. I was chilled by his powerful beauty. Part of me feels bad that such a magnificent animal is in captivity, but the other part of me trusts in the fact that they’re well taken care of, giving us a chance to have memorable encounters like these. It did stop me from taking a photo though. A certain sense of completely invading his privacy. But what a beautiful, haunting memory.

The lack of crowd allowed us to notice the new life stirring inside - tiger cubs and baby gorillas among the most popular. Wishing Bax could befriend the tiny monkeys. He sure looked like he wanted to play with them.

front seat for the sleepy tiger cub

i dare not tell him what tigers eat

Today we spent a little bit more time wandering the new lion den - a burst of colour that would brighten even the greyest day. The lion roared powerfully in the background. Have you ever heard a lion roar in person? He was turned up to ELEVEN. (Think he'd like to make some cubs, if you know what I mean...)
The zoo has introduced little lodges that you can actually stay the night in, just outside the lions den; getting a torchlit night tour of the zoo as part of the experience. That actually sounds pretty damn cool.

me and my little monkey

when the B man is asleep, mama gets to play

We hope to happen upon more unseen territories of the zoo with our next visit. Where are the zoos you visit and what are your favourite exhibits like? 

My coat (similar) and backpack.

Wearing this natural shade of lipstick.

Baxter’s pram (next generation), foot muff, hat (similar) and snacks.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Why I don't do play groups

Playgroup. A word that sends chills through my body. 

I get it. Giving your baby stimulation via sitting in a room filled with fellow littles, while nursery rhymes are sung in the midst of a galaxy of bubbles may be a baby’s idea of heaven. A display of complementary teas, coffees and cakes providing fuel to mums whose babies have not yet learned the art of the crawl (off he goes!) can be rather enticing. The chance to meet other mums who are possibly going through the same things as you can help you take that load off your shoulders.

But for an introverted mum like me, it’s a bit too much stimulation. The uncontrolled amount of noise; even if it’s a sea of happily shrieking babies. The snacks; well I can’t fault a piece of cake. But, the small talk; oh, the small talk. My head goes into spins just thinking about it. Baxter does’t even like bubbles anyway!

Yes, sometimes I feel like a failure for not having delved into the land of the playgroup. While my local “mum friends” attend weekly groups, little B man and I have yet to attend one. At all. 
But before I try to slap myself with a ‘crap mum’ comment, I just remind myself of the activities Bax and I enjoy. By ourselves. And then think well, maybe I’m not so crap at all.

To all my fellow introverts, here are a few activities you and your bubs can do alone:

Trips to the museum - The Natural History Museum is our favourite. I often wander around on autopilot, coffee in hand as we learn about animals, beautifully coloured minerals, dinosaurs,  earthquakes (hello earthquake room!), the planets…that place has enough wonderment to fill weeks.

looking at layers upon layers of laser cut materials in the science museum

Trips to the zoo - Over christmas my husband T and I invested in year-long passes to the zoo. Endless trips to see a real-life Sophie the Giraffe rates pretty damn high on Baxter’s list of favourite things to do.

spotting sophie for the first time

Walks through the park - Spend time pointing out the leaves on trees, the ever changing colour of the sky, dogs chasing balls, other families enjoying the fresh air, birds (Bax’s only known piece of sign language - oh how his face lights up when I pinch my index finger and thumb together and say ‘tweet tweet!’). 

enjoying the most brisk of days walking with my loves

Visits from family and friends - From day one, we’ve made sure Bax was handed over to every family member or friend who stopped by. Even one’s who don’t ‘get’ babies - Bax soon put a smile on their faces. This has always been important for his growth. Who doesn’t love a cuddle?

Cook - Enjoy your own cooking show as you have a show and tell of all the ingredients with your bub. Hold stronger smells like garlic or cinnamon up to their little noses and laugh at their reactions.

tiny baker in the making. i guess this counts as putting his palm in clay...which i never did. mum fail.

Dance and sing - With or without a couple of wooden spoons and a pan.
I have this vivid memory of a two week old Baxter fighting sleep during a 3-6am shift. A desperate me trying everything in my power to calm him back down. Vintage music telly quietly on in the background, helping to shade my fear of the dimly lit kitchen (I’ve never been one for the dark).
On came Hotel California. In hushed whispers I sang ‘On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair’ into his ear as I held out his little arm gently to full extension, and softly shifted around the room. 
It worked. He finally slept.
We now reenact that scene (albeit a little more rough and tumble) to his favourites: Coldplay, Michael Kiwanuka, anything on BBC 6 music…who says you need nursery rhymes?
(Unless it’s the itsy bitsy spider. There’s always room for the itsy bitsy spider.)

Read - Anything and everything. Out loud. Picture books, children books, magazines, blogs, the latest best seller (cough - Hold Back the Stars, out this month!). Babies are book nerds in the making. And they love the sound of your voice so it's okay to read something that stimulates you more than That's Not My Teddy over and over again.

bed time story time

I’d love to hear from my fellow introverted mamas! And you extroverted mamas too!

What are your favourite activities outside the playgroup?

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Hello, hello again.

Hello friends. 

Seven years ago, in a bid to ditch the loneliness of moving from one country to another, I started up the bluebirdcage blog. It saw me through some tough times and was a great gateway for meeting people, sharing recipes (remember that Creme Egg Cupcake??) and was even featured in Park & Cube (madness at the honour of it all)!

The problem is I’ve changed a lot. I’ve grown a lot. Growing more open about my experiences in real life, yet feeling stifled by continuing with a blog that was solely baking focused. I tried to reinvent the space several times, but it began to feel almost wrong to seep in lifestyle posts as I navigated my way through being a lost twenty-something living a double life in a world of fashion and an unhappy marriage. 

Skip to more recent years, my happiness and new experiences don’t seem to tie in with the old bluebirdcage blog.

So…here’s my clean slate. A place to celebrate life, motherhood, love, food and adventure. To share my stories with ya’ll. The good. The bad. The ugly. The me. 

Thanks for stopping by.