All posts by abbiosbiston

Hi, I’m Abbi. I grew up in South Africa and moved to London in 2004 because I didn't have anything better to do. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I live in Essex with my long-suffering British husband, Mr O and our smaller human, Little O. I divide up my life between my day job as an email ninja (not my actual title), trying to get my head around mummery, experimenting in the kitchen, reviewing random crap, fantisising about sleeping more than a two hours in a row and spending too much time on Instagram.

A snapshot of my life in black and white

Those who are on Facebook might have seen a meme going around recently asking people to post seven black and white photos of your life over seven days. No people. No explanations and then every day, challenge someone new. My friend B, nominated me and I couldn’t resist. Yesterday was my last day so I thought I would share my seven photos with you lot as well. I am presenting them with no explanation so feel free to guess… and also to join in…

Day 1

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BOOK REVIEW: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

I am continuing to choose books from my long reading list on Goodreads, which you can actually check out here. This Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock has been on the list since 2013 and I have no idea where it came from. I think it might also have been a potential book club selection that was rejected. Interestingly the author, Matthew Quick, also wrote The Silver Linings PlaybookRead more…

RECIPE: Mac n cheese with bacon, broccoli and sweetcorn

I don’t get to cook that much these days. When I get home from work I spend time with Little O and then bath and get him to bed. It makes sense for Mr O to cook while I am doing bed time so we don’t end up eating really late. Every now and then though, I sneak in a recipe and this one is a new favourite. It’s perfect for cold winter nights, doesn’t take very long to make at all and you can feel good about eating it as it’s full of veg. Read more…

MOVIE REVIEW: Thor – Ragnarok

As the parent of a small child, I don’t get to go to the cinema very often. In fact I have been twice in the 16.5 months since Little O was born. When Mr O suggested that we go for my birthday (which was on Monday) I jumped at the chance. As it was my birthday treat it was my choice and I really wanted to see something fun and not too taxing. Picking Ragnarok seemed like a bit of a no-brainer.  Read more…

BOOK REVIEW: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

For my latest reading adventure, I decided to go for a children’s’ classic and chose The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I was in the mood for something uplifting and not too taxing and I figured this would fit the bill. Read more…

Universal Yums October Box: Belgium

In October Mr O and I tasted snacks from… Belgium! Normally what makes the Universal Yums boxes really exciting is that we get to taste stuff that we have never tasted before or possible even heard of. Even with the South Korean box that we didn’t really like there was a weirdness factor that made it cool.

Unfortunately this is kind of where the Belgian box fell down. it wasn’t that the snacks weren’t nice. It was more that Belgium is maybe a little bit close to home. There was nothing in the box that I hadn’t tasted or seen before, especially since I have quite often traveled to Belgium for work. It just didn’t pack a flavour punch and most of what we tasted was very sweet. Anyway, this is what we had. Read more…

Tricks and treats

Age: 16 1/3 months
I like: Saying no, chocolate digestives, indie rock of the angry feminist persuasion, sitting in boxes and drawers, riding my trike – sometimes sideways, boobs

In the last week the O family has experienced both tricks and treats, which of course ties in nicely with Halloween. Read more…

HALLOWEEN MOVIE REVIEW: Final Destination (2000)

In honour of Halloween Mr O and I have been watching cheesy late 90s/early 00’s horror movies. I had a brief flirtation with enjoying horror around this era when I was in my late teens. Back then the films were silly and not actually particularly scary and my expectations were much lower so I didn’t realise how bad they all were. The The Ring came along and scared the crap out of me and I stopped watching horror pretty much altogether. I haven’t reviewed any of the films we’ve watched so far because I have reviewed them in the past as part of Film Friday but it turns out I have never reviewed Final Destination.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Edge of Seventeen

Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) has always been a bit awkward… okay, a lot awkward, which has been even more highlighted by the fact that her brother, Darian (Blake Jenner) is about the coolest, most popular kid in school. Fortunately, Nadine has her best friend, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson), who hates Darian just as much as she does. Read more…

BOOK REVIEW: Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson

When the O Family was in South Africa recently Mr O found a book by Bill Bryon in our Air BnB called A Short History of Nearly Everything. He had finished the books he brought with him to read so he decided to give it a go. He absolutely loved it and kept giving me little snippets that he was enjoying.  Read more…

Universal Yums September Box: Pakistan

Mr O and I have just finished tasting our fourth box of International snacks from Universal Yums. This time we had food from Pakistan and had to share quite a lot of it with Little O, who is ever more fascinated by what we are eating. It was a very successful box. We liked almost everything in it. I had a nightmare uploading videos to WordPress and I really don’t know why. So unfortunately there aren’t videos for everything. Read more…

The first night away

Age: 15 3/4 months
I like: Waving, cats, kissing – but not on demand, pizza

Earlier this week I went away overnight for the first time on my own. The company I work for has locations all over the UK and Europe and in a few other locations from South Africa to Honduras so sometimes a bit of travel is required. Since I returned from maternity leave I have not had anything urgent to attend that I haven’t been able to turn around in a day. There was a conference in Brussels I really wanted to go to so Mr O and I decided it was time to bite the bullet and go for it. Read more…

TV REVIEW: The State

The State is a recent Channel 4 four episode mini-series that follows a group of British citizens who travel to Syria to join so-called Islamic State. Shakira (Ony Uhiara) is a doctor and single mother travelling with her ten year old son, Isaac. Jalal (Sam Otto), accompanied by his best, friend Ziyad (Ryan McKen) is following in the footsteps of his late brother and Ushna (Shavani Cameron) has romantic ideas of being the bride of a Jihadi. Read more…

MOVIE REVIEW: My Scientology Movie (2015)

Mr O and I are big fans of Louis Theroux. We’ve watched all of his documentary series and various of his independent documentaries. His penchant for injecting himself into bizarre scenarios from porn to prisons to plastic surgery and drug addiction and then getting under the skin of what is going on without being judgmental is fascinating. His total unflappability means he often gets answers to questions others would not. Read more…

BOOK REVIEW: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

When I first got my Kindle many years ago, I downloaded some classic books that had become free as they were more than 100 years out of copyright. I think I found a list of recommended books somewhere and picked off a collection that I wanted to read. I have been working through them in between various books that I have purchased. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl was one of those still hanging around. Read more…

Pox

Age: 15 1/2 months
I like: Biscuits, the neighbours’ cats, boobs, the toilet, combing mummy’s hair (aggressively), gumbo

A couple of weeks ago we received a text message from Little O’s nursery to say that there was a confirmed case of chicken pox in the  toddler room. My immediate response was denial. I decided that since Little O was in the baby room and probably not licking toddlers it would be fine and he would not get pox. Read more…

The sibling question

Age: 15 1/3 months
I like: Porridge, bread sticks, mega bloks, pushing my walker, cats, boobs, not walking

There was a time I was fairly sure I would want two children – probably in quick succession considering my age and how long it took me to get pregnant with Little O. Since Little O was born though I have found my opinion somewhat changed. Read more…