Honeymoon was life!

Honeymoon was life!


I am back from my honeymoon and feeling so renewed and refreshed. When we got married we asked for no gifts but if people wanted to bestow us with something a donation to our honeymoon fund would be appreciated (with 3 kids between us we would never have had the spare money).  Our guests were lovely and generous so we booked a fabulous 5 day, CHILD FREE break away to centreparcs, Whinfell Forest, Cumbria.  

It was lush spending some time alone with my husband especially to have the chance to go away! So with Tilly packed off to spend the week with her two aunties and plethora of cousins and tuna dog off for her own holiday with grandma and Alfie dog we were good to go.

We rode along on the motorbike which was so much fun but my back nearly died carrying the worlds biggest, heaviest backpack known to mankind (my makeup was defiantly not ALL the weight, but with the war paint I need it was a fair majority) .

I had to take a photo to include where we parked 😂

We stayed in 5 Lakeside Apartments. It’s was a luxury lakeside (bet you didn’t guess that one) studio apartment.  It was top notch so clean and Spacious that I could live there (if we didn’t have kids that is!). 

View from our seating area.
I could have tidied before I took a photo!!

Our days were filled with food, drink and having fun.

Husband handed my ass to me! I can’t bowl for shit!

During all of the fun I descovered that I am terrible at bowling and pool, however it also turns out my skills at pool (bowling not so much) greatly improve when I have a couple (or more) drinks.
Pool shark 🎱

Food was high, maybe even top of my agenda.  Other than my husband food is my soulmate.  If anyone is as interested in photographs of people’s food as much as I am you might enjoy a few of my photos.

Mango mojito 10/10 yum
Garlic mushrooms from cafe Rouge 9/10
Giant cream eclair
Chicken and sweetcorn omelette with garlic butter. 4/10 total disappointment, knew I should have gone for a waffle
Double cheeseburger from hucks 6/10 good burger just not epic

The wether was glorious the whole week, I’m not outdoorsy in the slightest, I don’t do outdoor activities and the thought of it actually fills me with dread, so some would say it’s lost on me but I was there for some R&R and that’s just what I got.  Went swimming twice which with the body issues I have is rather impressive, I took my glasses off to go in (I’m totally blind without them) so I couldn’t see any ones reaction (even though nobody was probably even looking!!) but in my world I was a brave girl!!

My Lord I’m so cool 😎
We were like kids again in the arcades, 10p machines are my rush…….I dream big lol, husband on the other hand liked the motorbike game #shocker! 

I NEED this KAWAII hello kitty air hockey table in my LIFE 😍😍
You can take the boy off the bike but you can never take the child out of the man.
 

I did however miss my little Mouse, we have barely been apart since the day she was born and we were surrounded by family’s It got progressively Worse as the time went on so  I made it my mission to win her a smurf on the grabby machine.  I was convinced they were rigged until we saw kids with some so it was GAME ON! At one point I was right on the brink and I could see a dad and his kid hovering to try and get on but hell no losers, back up smurfette was mine *insert villain laugh here.

No grabber can beat me!!

We had a fantastic time and we laughed so much, I defiantly married someone who can make me smile.

Greatest photobomb of all time!
Already looking forward to going back.

Signing off with love and lipstick,

Pip 💋🖤💄

Being mum is kicking my ass today!

Being mum is kicking my ass today!

Holy crap today has been a hard one so far and it’s only teatime!

Sums today up.

Today has consisted of the following things

  • Being woken up at a time I didn’t even realise existed!
  • Mouse decided that ‘something scary’ might happen in the bathroom if she goes alone and refuses to let daddy take her!
  • Put on then quickly removed her costume for world book day (pretty sure Skye from paw patrol isn’t a book so 10/10 for shit mum skills)
  • Pooped in her nickers 
  • Decided not to wear a nappy as she wanted to make Pam @ little school happy ( Pam works at Tilly’s little school and is also my friend outside)
  • Had a poop in said pants again on the walk to school.
  • Had a Jesus of all meltdowns until I cleaned her up IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKING ROAD.
  • She refused to walk any further than the doctors as she ‘has a temperature’ (aka she likes to play with the waiting room toys)
  •  Arrived at little school and demanded her costume on (had it in the bag, not falling for that again sucker!!)
  • Came home did the housework STILL didn’t have time to watch the final episode of TABOO (don’t worry Mr Hardy I’m saving you!!)
  • Daddy went to work leaving me to pick mouse up.
  • Collected mouse, she refused to leave instead she showed me EVERY toy in the room.
  • Turned out she had a poo on her book day costume, which also had to be handwashed (DONE).
  • She rode home on her little pink bike which took 50 minutes (20 minute walk usually).
  • Then just had a poop in her pants again, I’m sick of telling her she needs to tell me.

So that’s today so far so mammys opening the pink vino and toking on my e cig like I’m a freaking steam engine.  Day 2 of no smoking was a pig but still trying!!

Signing off with love and lipstick,

Pip 💋🖤💄

Is breast best? 

Is breast best? 


I decided to write this post after a received a message from a fellow mum asking for my opinion on the ongoing debate Breast feeding v bottle feeding.  This is a topic that refuses to desist so here I am to give my personal opinions on it all.  

Tilly Mae is 3 years and 3 months so it has been a while since I had to   Make the choice but the same issues are circling like hawks above new mothers heads and I think it’s getting worse if anything .

Everywhere I have looked lately I have noticed a massive influx in pictures of women breastfeeding or articles about how it’s so much better than bottle feeding. First things first I have no issue with mothers choosing to feed their children from their own milk but I just wish the same courtesy had been extended to me throughout my experience of bottle feeding. From the go I bottle fed and I have no regrets.
 

Anyone reading this who chooses to think that I am in anyway dissing boob feeders can just unlike, unfollow or just generally do one because this is not at all what I am doing.  I also believe that if you choose to breastfeed you should be allowed to and it wherever and whenever it is needed it really bothers me that people have to make such a stand by protesting/posting photographs  for it to be normalised.  

I didn’t even heat my daughters bottles up, I always used room temperature, sterilised formula from day one and I never had any issue but again this is not a blog focusing on how I prepped my child’s food, do what works for you .
I received such judgement from day one from mid wives, nurses, healthcare workers and generally other mothers about my lack of desire to feed Tilly from my own milk. I was made to feel like a bad mum for choosing not to breast feed but I know I am a good mother for choosing what’s I feel more comfortable as an opinion for my child. 
I have just watched a video made by bottle feeding mothers defending themselves which just annoys the heck out of me EVERY SINGLE ONE gave excuses as to why they didn’t breastfeed 
‘It hurt my nipples’

‘I didn’t produce enough milk’

I hate that mothers are made to feel like they need to come up with reasons why the chose formula. Don’t feel pressured to do anything choose your own path. My reason for not breastfeeding is that the thought of it creeped me out, I’m not ashamed of my opinion or my choice because that’s exactly what it is a choice.  
I’m sick of mothers mud slinging at each other for not standing by a certain idea when we should be standing side by side for raising out children the best way we can. It’s yet another non argument that causes such strong reactions within the different fractions.
We are all parents. Bottle feeding was good for me it allowed me the freedom that I wanted, it allowed my husband and family to share in then joy of feeding our daughter and gave me a break when I needed it most.
We would all go mad if it was an argument like ‘what’s the best way to raise a child, within a religious or non religious movement?’ It doesn’t matter, people should just stop it we are all just fighting about what and who’s best when we should be fighting to have all children and parents treated equally regardless of something so trivial as how they are fed.

Signing off with love and lipstick,
Pip 🖤💋💄

A rediagnosis has given me my life back.

A rediagnosis has given me my life back.

I can finally share the joy that is my re diagnosis for the ongoing medical issues I have had over the past 15 years.  I have spent almost half of my life in chronic pain, being sent from gastroenterologists to gynaecologists and back more times than I care to remember been subjected to every test I can think of to try and pin down what is wrong with me.  

I tried to get my repeat pescription for my tramadol only to be refused by my new gp, let’s just say I was less than impressed.  I was given a pescription for indigestion (a hernia was found during my last endoscopy) but this is something I barely suffer with so in a huff I told the doctor she could keep her medication and that I wanted another appointment to investigate this problem.

My younger sister is a sister at the RVI hospital in Newcastle so I asked her to accompany me for reassurance and help with getting the seriousness of my condition over to a woman I felt was not taking me seriously.

Anyway, i sat down in the same chair in the same surgery I have been going to for over 5 years since I moved into the area.  I was waiting for it and the doctor didn’t fail ‘what are your symptoms’ my whole person automatically went on the defensive.  I have fought to have my case heard so many times, I wish I had a pound for every time I have said the words vomiting, nausea and chronic lower abdominal pain I would be a very rich girl!  

So I explained the symptoms again, while she typed it into her computer and out of the corner of my eye I could see my sisters head shaking and eyes rolling, she backed up my every word and made it crystal clear the direction my life was heading if nothing was done.  

It just so happened that my sister mentioned that people can physically see when I ‘get my pains’, that all colour instantly drains from my face (like I’m not pale enough!) and something changed in the doctors demeanour.  She started on her computer and explained that she thinks she knows what it could be.

She has diagnosed me as having abdominal migraines.  After reading up on it, I tick every box of symptoms

  • Severe Stomach pain that isn’t in one specific spot (non-localized pain)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite (not as much now as when it all started when I dropped over 5 stone in a matter of months)
  • General malaise, overall discomfort, uneasiness
  • Often there is no head pain, just the stomach discomfort and pain
  • Symptoms completely go away between episodes.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Pain that lasts 3-72 hours.

Abdominal migraine was overlooked as it is so rare in adults.  Approximately 2% of children suffer from and much, much fewer adults.  It is often mistaken as IBD, IBS or lactose intolerance.

There are many triggers that lead to an attack such as

  • Stress.  Both positive and negative stresses can lead to a flare up.  I stress a lot and I have always noticed that this is a massive trigger with me.
  • Changes in sleeping patterns.
  • Fasting or skipping meals. 
  • Excercise (at least I am safe from this one)
  • Certain foods have been identified as triggers.  Chocolate, cheese, Citrus fruits, alcohol and foods containing MSG and preserved meats such as hotdogs or sausages.

I can’t tell you the relief I feel at having what feels like the Perfect diagnosis.  I have spent my life feeling like my many diagnosis didn’t quite fit but this one really feels like it fits.  When I came out of the doctors I felt like I had my life back.

I have been given medication.  My medication is what given to treat regular migraines.  I have to take 2 as soon as I feel an attack coming on. I have had what I feel would have been 2 attacks and the symptoms all but disappeared within 30 minutes of taking the tablets so fingers crossed this is the answer I have been waiting 15 years for.  

I feel like I can plan things which for me has always been difficult as I never know when I will be ill or how bad it will make me.  I can see a future which for me is such relief in itself.

I hope my ongoing battle and this blog has been an insight into what it is like being me and as this is such a rare diagnosis I hope maybe someone out there who’s been potentially misdiagnosed can read this and take it further.  Your illness isn’t always as it seems never give up the fight, you are stronger than you realise.

Signing off with love and lipstick,

Pip 💋🖤💄

Is that my biological clock ticking?

Is that my biological clock ticking?



So we are finally in a settled routine with Tilly and the boys.  School, pickups, drop offs and even the minor things are ironed out and I am a massive fan of routine and I like everything just so.

I went to the doctors who have diagnosed me with abdominal migraines and they have said that I need the coil fitted as my pill is a massive contributing factor to my illness which has stirred up some unknown feelings inside me about having babies.

I am nearly 34 and Tilly will be 4 this year with her brothers being 6 and 11 respectively, if I want another baby now is the time to do it, I’m getting on and when I have the coil fitted it will be in for 3 years and I wouldn’t take it out to try. 

Alex is content to not have anymore but if I wanted to try he would be 100% on board with my decision.  I’m totally torn on the idea.  On one hand I have mouse begging me for a baby sister (she has no idea we don’t choose) and then on the flip side I don’t know if I could go back to the disruption and intensity of having a newborn so I have decided to do what I do what I do best and that’s to make a pro/cons list 

Pros 

  • A live in sibling for mouse.
  • Having a little human who needs us as much as mouse.
  • Carrying a baby inside me, other than the indigestion it was the most amazing experience I have had as a woman.
  • Tilly would have a full time live in sibling.
  • WHO DOESNT LOVE A BABY!!

Cons 

  • Cost (baby’s are expensive)
  • Space (we have a 3 bedroom home, 1 for us, 1 for mouse and 1 for the boys when they come over.
  • Just getting my life back.
  • My dreams of a career change would be on hold again.
  • My age, I wish I had mouse earlier.

I fear my heart is trying to overrule my head.  I never wanted children yet here we are with 3 between us and another seems crazy when I say it out loud but some of the most important humans in my life are my two amazing sisters, my life would be nothing without their love and support and my heart aches that mouse won’t have that relationship, if her siblings lived closer I think my worries would be eased.

This blog isn’t really helping my cause, I’m just as confused as when I started so fingers crossed a decision just comes to me. I know everyone has their thoughts on the matter both to and against but this is solely one only myself and my husband can finally come to.  So who knows what this year will hold for the Flecks.

Signing off with love and lipstick,

Pip 💋🖤💄

You eat what?! My weirdo food connections.

You eat what?! My weirdo food connections.

I’m a obsessive eater,  I always have been.  My love affair with food that has been one of the most turbulent relationships I have ever been part of, I associate food with joy, it makes me happy when I’m sad and I celebrate great things with a side portion of everything yummy.

My affair with food is something inherently in me, it’s a obsession I have inherited from my dad.  Unfortunately my love of food comes with the constant struggle with my weight.  This blog isn’t about that struggle today. This is about realise how weird I am with food and the choices that surround it, until very recently I didn’t even realise I had issues that were tied up with food, i have no idea where they came from but I’m guessing it’s just something we are raised with.  Have a read and let me know if you have any quirks regarding food, where did you pick them up from?

So, I went into the staff room at work at lunch recently as I had finished my shift and one of my colleagues Steve was eating cod bites and chips and I stated that it was a very dramatic thing to have on a dinner time, they all thought that was hilarious but I am a creature of habit and routine and you can’t have tea time food at lunchtime unless you won’t be having a tea time, even now in my own mind that sounds a little crazy but lunch is for sandwiches and maybe a bowl of soup at a push, then I asked what Kevin had and he had last night Chinese leftovers, obviously I love vicariously through other people’s food so when I asked him what he had they were amazed reaction to the fact he had chow mein and rice.  This apparently is a normal thing, I would never think to have rice with noodles, in my weird brain they are considered two sides that would never go together it’s a one or another situation.  Is this only me? 

So this has got me to thinking what food things do I consider odd and I’m actually shocked at myself.

  •  Sunday dinners, more than one type of potatoes feels like  bedlam and I would never make mash and roast but I’m over the moon if someone else makes it for me it’s so naughty.  
  • Certain foods go or must not not go with sides but there is also some things that defy my own rules for example corned beef pie even though it’s made with mash you can have chips or mash as a side whereas bacon sandwiches cannot have a side they are for solo eating.
  •   You can’t have sides as a main. (Only exception that I can think of is fried rice from the Chinese but it has to have at least one meat in and has to be accompanied with a sauce)
  • Soup AND a sandwich, how is this even a thing I have never had both it’s one or the other both together blows my mind.
  • Everything can go in a sandwich, trust me (as long  as it’s buttered) 
  • Breakfast can only be small unless you are away/having it instead of lunch, a bacon/sausage sandwich are blurred lines, it’s almost like a treat so lunch is usually a no  following this.
  • Eating chocolate at anytime other than night feels highly luxurious and naughty, unless it’s pudding.  
  • Having pudding after food removes the allowance of a sweet treat on a evening.
  • Watching cooking/food related shows isa appetite suppressant, food porn as I call it stops me from snacking, I live vicariously through other people’s food and their eating.

There are a few I realise have been self imposed after years of dieting to aide dieting as my inner fatty would eat anything at anytime and my college/university photographs will back up my story.

Reading back on some of these I realise how twisted my relationship with food is, it’s a beautiful disfunctional relationship which I will continue to hone and perfect in my own nutso way.

Signing off, with love and lipstick,

Pip 💋🖤💄

The 10 musical soundtracks to my life so far.

Music has always played a massive part of my life, i have worked in a music shop for over 10 years so it has acted as a soundtrack for some of my most impact I’ve moments.  Here’s 10 of the songs that are important to me.

  1. Lorde- Royals, this was the number one song in the charts when my daughter Tilly Mae was born.  It was played everywhere at the time and will always remind me of that moment of my life.
  2. Hozier – Take me to church.  This was the song I walked down the aisle to on my wedding day.  The words are so impactive to me, it still makes me emotional when I hear it.
  3. Daddy Yankee – Gasolina.  This reggaton hit never fails to make me smile and dance. It makes me think of amazing times of drinking rum (run Thursday) with my friend JBaz. We always have the most fun when we hang out.
  4. Lady Gaga – poker face.  This song along with the whole ‘monster’ album reminds me of going to Japan.  I was so shocked that she was unknown when I went to Tokyo and while I was there here career really took off and all of the clubs played it.
  5. Prince – Purple Rain.  This isn’t particularly my favourite Prince song (I’m a huge fan) but it was the song that first introduced me to the little purple one.  It’s also Tilly’s favourite, it warms my heart everytime she hears the first cord of the guitar and her little face lights up.  It was a pivotal moment to see him play this when I saw him live at the 02 arena in London.
  6. The Contours – Do you love me.  I love every song from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack but this one was also mine and my husbands first dance on our big day.  We even had a little dance routine, which of you know my husband was a massive fear overcome.
  7. John Legend -Refuge.  This reminds me of a really hard time in my life and it the words were so important to me when I really needed to be strong.
  8. Coyote Shivers – Sugarhigh.  From one of my favourite ever movies Empire Records,  like one of the plot lines I always wanted to be a singer but never had the guts to stand up and sing In front of people, after a conversation with a friend a few days ago it looks like this is closer to a reality than I thought.
  9. Paul Simon- father and daughter.  This songs lyrics always make me think of my relationship with my dad.  I am and always have been a daddy’s girl, tears me up every time.  
  10. Mary Mary – Shackles (Praise you).  This song takes me back to a time in life when I lived in my first own home. The specific memory it’s tied to is of me walking home from my job at HMV silverlink and the weather was warm and I never wanted it to end.  I always go back there when I hear it.

I love that music pin points us to such feelings and emotions, that take us to the best and worst moments of life .  Life for me wouldn’t be the same without music it was harder to choose the music to go in our wedding than it was choosing my dress.

These songs are not songs that I listen to all the time nor are they all songs I would particularly listen to if I was stranded on a desert island but they are 10 that mean something to me personally, they have become part of the fabric of my life timeline.
Do you have songs that have changed your life or stir up certain memories? I would love to hear about them.

Signing off with love and lipstick,

Pip 💋🖤💄