Why church playgroups are a real godsend

Sonny Jim, playgroup, Katy Pearson, #whatkatydid

Play time: Sonny Jim in the garden at Bright Starts

Despite my mum, and my new sister-in-law both being priests, I haven’t actually spent that much time hanging around churches in recent years.

Yes, my little lad was Christened last year, but much to my poor reverend ma’s chagrin, we’re not exactly what you could call church regulars.

However, over the past couple of months there has been something of a change afoot.

The reason? Church playgroups.

Honestly, I can’t praise (sorry, couldn’t resist) them (yes, we go to more than one!) enough.

Entertaining little ones, especially once they start crawling and toddling about, can be expensive. Lots of mummy and baby classes require you to sign up and pay for a term in one hit. Of course, as soon as you do, your baby then decides the hour in which the class is held is now their new nap time. Continue reading

Review: Boxwild’s Bird Feeder Gift Box

fruit feeder, Boxwild, Katy Pearson #whatkatydid

Fabulous – the fruit feeder in action

Here’s a little confession. I’m a bit of a birder.

Ever since the hubby and I lived for eight years in a teeny-tiny old mill cottage in the middle of nowhere, I’ve loved looking out for the birds fluttering their way into our garden.

We had a pair of robins (one fat, one skinny) that seemed to come back every year and they were joined by an array of other breeds as the seasons unfolded.

Now by the seaside, we don’t seem to play host to quite as many different birds… but the ones that do visit I’m super keen to encourage to keep coming back! Continue reading

Let’s talk about last night… networking with #CWCessex

#CWC, Connecting with Cocktails, business, Essex, Katy Pearson, #WhatKatyDid

Inspiring stuff: Just some of the cards belonging to #CWC business women

We’ve all heard the saying, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

And with the business world being a male dominated arena for decades, sometimes building a network can feel like trying to convince the older kids at school to let you play.

It should come as no surprise then, that south Essex business women are setting up their own groups and support systems.

Forget the Masons, with their stuffy ways and somewhat odd customs. For 21st century women here in Leigh it’s all about connecting over cocktails. Continue reading

Let’s talk about last night… at Revolution Southend

Blank Canvas, Katy Pearson, Revolution, Southend

Shaken not stirred: I try my hand at making Blank Canvas

I confess, I don’t get out much. Since Sonny Jim’s arrival you can usually find me in my PJs by 8pm.

So when I *do* go out, I need that night to be a good ‘un. Happily, the newest bar in Southend more than delivered.

I was invited to Revolution Southend’s preview night – ahead of its launch night tonight.

My BFF and I got a peek around the bar and (heated) roof terrace, I tried my hand at making my own cocktail (thanks Barney!) and got to grips with a scrumptious burger.

With the town’s nightclub scene rather dying out, following the closures in recent years of some big name venues (yes Churchills and Element I’m looking at you) cocktail bars/restaurants are starting to fill the void. Continue reading

Super sweet Easter egg recipes

Katy Pearson, British Lion Eggs, Easter, recipe

Super cute: Chicks on a plate

When it comes to cooking, I’m not the greatest. However, I *am* a total sucker for recipes that look so lovely they make you smile. And these from British Lion Eggs (www.eggrecipes.co.uk), ahead of Easter, certainly do that.

Hands up who is feeling inspired to hold an Easter Sunday gathering, after looking at these? Yep, me too…

Little egg chicks

Serves: 8
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
• 8 British Lion eggs
• 3tbsp Greek yogurt
• 2tsp Dijon mustard
• ½ carrot, sliced thinly into rounds
• Chives or green peppercorns to decorate Continue reading

Let’s talk about last night… at Southend’s Big Bingo Bash

Katy Pearson, Big Bingo Bash, Southend

Big Bingo Bash: Mama *attempting* a night off

Okay, here’s a confession. I *did* go to Mecca’s first ever Big Bingo Bash (held in Southend) last night.

But I didn’t, sadly, stay that long. Sonny Jim is literally FULL of cold and the poorly little pickle’s can’t-sleep-coughing-too-much kinda of scuppered my mama’s night off plans.

HOWEVER. What I was there for, was tremendous. I drank Prosecco, scoffed a mini platter of naughty nibbles, bopped along in my seat to the band and dancers, laughed along with host Steve Walls and even played a bit of bingo too (though I didn’t win any prizes. Damn it. I’m not at all jealous of that person who won the 7-day sunshine holiday for two.) Continue reading

RECIPE: Baby’s first pancakes

Pancake recipe for babies

On the menu today: Sonny Jim’s first pancakes

Oh hello Shrove Tuesday!

Today is Sonny Jim’s first pancake day, and while I love my pancakes covered in sugar and ice cream and chocolate (yes, basically a heart attack on a plate!) his will be rather a lot healthier.

I’m going to be using this Annabel Karmel recipe today (from Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner, Ebury Press, £14.99, www.randomhouse.co.uk)

How about you? Continue reading