Stream it ~ Review

I’ve watched a few series over the last few months that I’m desperate to talk (or in this case, write) about. Knowing me as you do, for those of you that have been reading DIVAMUM for a while, you’ll know my interest in TV piques and wanes often. My mum asks me every other day ‘did you watch XYZ last night?’ And I’m there like, ‘No mum, you know I don’t watch much TV’ and the reason is not because I don’t love TV, I do! The reason, is because my kids are shit at going to bed and I live with chronic fatigue, and a brain fogged mind that refuses to concentrate on anything. Oh, and also because I’ve been watching Love Island only, for the last however many weeks and falling to sleep immediately after.

Since that ended though, I’ve had to fill the pockets of time I do get with short, sweet and easy, but still interesting (otherwise I really won’t concentrate on it) watches. So what have I been watching? The below paragraphs are, in no particular order.

Everything I know about love

Everything I know About Love. 5⭐️

Dolly Alderton’s best selling memoir of the same name has been transformed and semi fictionalised for TV and I could not wait to review it.

Full disclosure: I haven’t read the book! I’m aware of the opinion of many bookish bloggers who claim not reading the book before watching a TV adaptation is sacrilegious, but I have to say I’m partial to doing it backwards. A bit like the way I love kindle and don’t obsess over or miss turning ‘real pages’ or reading with a light on. Call me a fraud if you will, but here we are. Everything I Know About Love is, in my opinion an epic watch.

Maggie (played by Emma Appleton) is a post grad, twenty four year old fresh out of uni in the early noughties and looking for excitement. She moves into her first flat with best friend Birdie (Bel Powley) along with two friends from uni, Nell and Amarah in London’s borough of Camden. The episodes are full of exactly what you’d expect… love, but not always or specifically in its conventional romantic sense. Maggie dates many men, has the craziest of nights out, frantically searches for work and her soul, eventually finding both. It’s a beautiful depiction full of warm nostalgia for halcyon days and hedonistic nights. I downloaded the book as soon as I finished watching, but I’m still yet to get past the first chapter. I’m desperately hoping they’ll be another series of this though as Maggie’s story is far from over when the closing credits roll.

Breeders Season 3

Breeders. 5⭐️

If you’re a tired parent prone to dropping the f-bomb, full of parental guilt and rage…. This is for you. A darkly comedic show that shows that side of parenting the majority of instagram’s parental users are trying to shield us from. The bottom line…. It’s fucking hard. Paul (Martin Freeman) and Ally (the wonderful Daisy Haggard) are parents to Luke and Ava whom you see grow from toddler to teens in S 1-3. The show depicts the trials and tribulations of the working parent. Mental health, marriage and menopause also feature, with S3 showing Daisy’s Ally in bits due to the national HRT shortage. A brilliantly executed storyline. Fans of Friday Night Dinner and Motherland will appreciate. For me this show is everything being a parent is, it’s fear, confusion, guilt and an abundance of love, with laughter thrown in for good measure. NB: It’s quick witted and close to the mark, not for the easily offended.

Mood

Mood. 3.5⭐️

Written by and starring Nicôle Lecky, Mood follows the life of Sasha Clay. Sasha is a twenty five year old wannabe singer recently dumped by her boyfriend Anton (Jordan Duvigneau) and kicked out of home by her parents, Sasha finds herself shit out of luck with nowhere to go, before she’s taken under the wings of ‘influencer’ and sex worker Carly Visions. Sasha’s life turns around in an instant but is it for the better? A dark and interesting look at social media and the age of the influencer. Mood also features a soundtrack written and debuted by Lecky. Eye opening if a little exaggerated in parts, Mood is wholly unique with nothing else quite like it on TV.

You Don’t Know Me

You Don’t Know Me. 4⭐️

I liked this show a lot, and the only reason I didn’t give it the full 5⭐️ is because I found it got a little drawn out and hard to follow somewhere in the middle. That being said Samuel Adewunmi who plays main character Hero sold it for me. The show follows Hero’s life and his current trial for the murder of gang member Jamil Issa. I found Hero a likeable character and I loved how the drama flits between present day courtroom and previous events, delving into gang culture and doing the right thing. I’ve read a lot of naff reviews based on the ending but I have to say, I disagree with them. The show is though provoking and the ending gets that thought process going. I thought about this drama long after I finished watching it. If you want something to pass the time before the next series of Top Boy drops; this might be for you.

Have you watched any of these? As ever, leave me a comment or get in touch to let me know what you thought about any of the shows listed in this review. 

Happy Netflix and Chill.

Be Weird Be Wild Be Wonderful ~ Review

Got a preschooler who loves to explore? A baby under six months that is fascinated by their surroundings but still limited with movement? A tornado crawler? A toddler? If you answered yes to any of the above BWBWBW will surpass your play expectations. Situated in East Bristol’s Longwell Green suburb, occupying an old shop space with free parking, it’s a play hub like no other.

The hub is open plan so wherever you are you can see your little person playing safely

If like me you dread soft play and get jittery just thinking about joining a baby group Be Weird Be Wild Be Wonderful is the perfect alternative to both. Roomy, open plan interiors and infinite open ended play resources, even an indoor sandpit, the play hub offers an ideal space for your little ones to roam free and explore safely. Possibly what’s even more special about this place is that they offer proper coffee in childsafe cups! That’s right, you can crawl about with your little ones and get your caffeine hit whilst it’s still hot. Teas and coffees are served in flasks with closed lids, making it much harder for your little one to come into contact with any hot liquid, yet miles easier for you to be able to enjoy a hot beverage. The perfect place for a Mother’s meeting too, aka a catch up with your bestie, where you can chat away freely whilst your babies safely enjoy all the hub has to offer. And there’s a lot on offer. Areas of imaginative play include a dress up station full of vintage treasures. An outside space to enjoy the summer months. A corner den lit up with twinkling fairy lights with hanging shower loofahs posing as pom poms. Giant teddy bears and a monochrome section, sure to peak your child’s imagination whatever their age.

Kaiser is a huge fan of the metallics and spends ages with the sensory bottles

Down the middle of the hub is a huge tube ready and waiting to have wooden cars and balls launched down its innards, enticing laughter and repetitive delight from the little people.

In our favourite corner – the black and white area

The hub also sports a café so you can grab a cake with your coffee, or feed your little’n lunch so they’re nice and full in time for a nap on the way home.

The hub is designed for children aged under five, from tiny babies and beyond.

To access the play hub, booking is essential and can be done quickly and easily online via the website. Also on offer are classes including mother and baby fitness, and creative Little Pumpkins Play Time along with scheduled events for all of the family. The hub is run by early years specialists and all staff have the passion and knowledge required to bring out creativity, and inspire imagination in tiny brains. And if all of that isn’t enough to prompt a visit, they also have a range of items available to purchase from local small businesses. All products on offer -which include clothing, toys and child essentials- have been tried and tested by the hub’s staff.

Kaiser and I have recently purchased a membership which allows us to visit the hub for everyday play sessions as many times as we like, for just £18 a month. Usual pricing for everyday play is £4 per child and £2 per adult, so even if you only manage to go once a week, you’re still saving a tidy £6 a month with a membership.

Give the hub a follow on Instagram to stay up to date with all their latest goings on.

A novel for the migraineur

As someone who identifies as disabled, living with several debilitating chronic illnesses, I am forever searching my beloved books for representation of such characters. Until now I’ve been yet to find a protagonist whom is presented as disabled and humble. A character doing things along side of their disability, as opposed to in spite of. So many portrayals of disability can come across as though everyone living with one should be more productive, and offering accurate representation of invisible yet life limiting chronic illness, is paramount for awareness. Fiction writers are getting better at being more inclusive, particularly with mental health in narratives, but many are still falling short on the disability front. It’s a hard balance to strike when wanting to write exciting plot twists, but including a realistic representation of disabled or mentally unwell characters. What tends to happen is, a disabled character may get a side part in an able bodied person’s story. Or a mentally unwell character might end up being the villain in an attempt to emphasise the extremity of an illness, but I’m pleased to say, not in this book.

Seven Days In June by Tia Williams is a tale, written with grit and heart. Honestly, I devoured it, what a marvel! A book that really inspires the likes of me, a chronically sick, wannabe author.

Eva Mercy is a single mother and bestselling erotica writer who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning novelist, who, to everyone's surprise, shows up unexpectedly in New York.

When Shane and Eva meet at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their buried traumas, but also the eyebrows of the Black literati. What no one knows is that fifteen years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. While they may be pretending not to know each other, they can't deny their chemistry - or the fact that they've been secretly writing to each other in their books through the years.

Over the next seven days, amidst a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect - but Eva's wary of the man who broke her heart, and wants him out of the city so her life can return to normal. Before Shane disappears though, she needs a few questions answered . . .

What the blurb doesn’t tell you, is:

Protagonist Eva Mercy lives with the (often invisible) disability, migraine. The pages dedicated to her illness are raw, heart wrenching and honest, despite their fictional nature. Eva is a complex character and Williams is a perfect story teller. Offering up a window into the life of a young disabled mother. Not only is Eva a disabled person but a talented author, mother and sexual human being, too! Real life with migraine is often painkillers and dark rooms and this book captures that, even down to triggering smells and ‘face melting’ pain. It also tells the full story, the story of a woman with complex emotions, sexual desires, ambition and drive, that is often hindered by migraine attacks. As is her ability to parent and participate in loving relationships. It links trauma which is so often the catalyst to a life of chronic pain. But includes subtext, relating to mental health and teenage mistakes, drug abuse and even parental neglect.

A Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick

If I had to rate this book in stars I’d give it a full house simply based on the mention of migraine, and the debilitating nature of their attacks. However, I’m giving it a 4.5, and the reason I hold back the full five, is that the plot itself, whilst raunchy, does teeter over the edge into contemporary romance. If happy endings aren’t your bag, this book may not be for you. What I will say, is the road to happiness is portrayed with honesty, stubbornness and heart. Bonus, it’s a relatively short read that isn’t clunky to digest.

Praise for Tia Williams. You have a new fan!

Buy Online at Amazon now

Little pink café- Bristol’s Hanham Suburb

If you have a pink obsessed small person (or big person) in your life, or you’re just after a decent breakfast that doesn’t cost the earth, The Little Pink Café is now firmly on my favourites list.

Aesthetically pleasing in all pink and white, it’s atmosphere is that of a traditional bustling coffee shop. Set in the heart of Hanham high street this place is for everyone, not just the members of pink lovers anonymous.

Pink lattes and decent coffee

Enjoy funky pink drinks, traditional teas and coffees, English breakfasts and American style pancakes in cute and kitsch surroundings. The choice is vast here at The Little Pink Cafe. An independently run business by a group of friendly females, this is an ideal place for those mothers’ meetings and Saturday morning breakfasts with the kids. it’s also a lovely place to host an event such as a baby shower, when we attended this morning there was a group hosting a 40th birthday breakfast, and I just love that idea!

Whatever your occasion, or even if there isn’t one, give these guys a visit.

Brett Salako Photography ~ Review

On 3rd April we hired Brett to take some photographs at our daughter’s sixth birthday party. During my time blogging I’ve met some great photographers and all of them offer a different and individual vision. We hadn’t used Brett before. We’d never hired a professional to photograph a kid’s party before either. It’s safe to say though, we were more than a little thrilled with the final pics.

Those of you that have been reading my blogs for a while will know, I don’t often review products or services. But I felt it important to write a full review of Brett’s services and tell you why I think you should hire him for your next event.

  • Brett arrived early, managing to capture some fantastic, intimate, family photos before the carnage of 30 six year olds ensued.
  • Brett’s presence was non invasive. You can imagine lots of kids don’t want to be lined up for a hundred photographs when they could be partying, and Brett made sure that wasn’t necessary, whilst still managing to capture some perfect shots.
  • He has a very arty flair when it comes to captures, and he managed to make the otherwise plain background of the hall fit perfectly into each photograph.
  • He listened to what we asked for and delivered.
  • His efficacy of getting the finished edit to us was stellar.
Banksy style capture

Brett is Wiltshire based but also covers surrounding areas, he is available for family shoots, weddings, landscapes and a variety of other photography services.

Brett’s instagram showcases his versatility.

What I really liked about having Brett at our daughter’s party, was his patience. When you’re surrounded by children moving at speeds, for hours, it can be hard to capture the perfect shot, but that wasn’t an issue for Brett. He was dedicated to the cause and managed to capture our daughter, and us as a family, beautifully.

Action Shot
Family

So why would you hire Salako Photography for your event? Well, if you’re after a patient, punctual and interested photographer, who listens to your ideas and is speedy with his edits. I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t want to hire Brett. His prices are competitive, he really cares about your vision and will work with you to achieve it whilst adding his own artistic flair. We now have a whole album of our daughter’s special day that we’ll be able to cherish forever. Her first birthday as a big sister, and her first surrounded by friends post covid-19.

I highly recommend Brett, he’s not just a great photographer, but a genuine and friendly guy, too!

Blossom Bra review ~ The comfort craze.

You might of read my previous post on my huge boob struggle. Trust me when I emphasise the word struggle and tell you that it’s real!

Fear not though my dear D-K cup friends, I bring you good news. Actually it’s fucking fantastic if I’m honest, the girls at Royce Lingerie have gone and brought out a comfort bra in big booby sizes, and wait for it….. it’s not ugly! That’s right, this cute little comfort bra called The Blossom has it all, (or not because there’s no underwire) and I’m so here for it.

I’m forever moaning about pain caused by non supportive bras, shoulders, back aches, underwire boob imprints and because I live with Fibromyalgia I also get something called allodynia where your skin reacts to non painful stimuli as if it is indeed painful, sometimes it can feel like I’m being scorched with a blow torch and this is particularly noticeable in the areas that my bra touches. Not to mention around menstruation when they’re so fucking sensitive it can feel like the lacey number I chose to look cute in, is giving me boob thrush.

Underwires are the devil when it comes to comfort but how do you get that cute cleavage thing going on without one? How do you get a lift without separation?

Well…. you buy a blossom bra that’s how. Check this little beauty out

Complete with central drawstring to get the perfect amount of voluptuous décolletage on show. It’s the perfect combo of sports bra and crop top with maximum support without losing style.

Honestly it’s so comfortable I am considering never taking it off. I’m wearing my sister size of 36H and it fits my usual 34HH perfectly.

I was lucky enough to be gifted this bra but truthfully I’ll be buying it in the other colours too because it really is too good to be true. This particular design also comes in a nursing equivalent.

As if there’s more good news, it’s only £36!!! Whilst this might seem a lot for ladies able to shop in Primark for underwear, for us chesty girls this is a steal. I’ve paid £65 for a bra before and it was ugly as ass.

Go on, treat yourself and your Bristols to a little bit of luxury and a lot of comfort, you won’t regret it. The girls at Royce are more than happy to talk you through sizing queries and they offer super speedy delivery too. You can find them on Instagram here @Roycelingerie

The Coconut Tree

You only have to look at me to know I’m a food lover.

Whilst taking a leisurely stroll along Bristol’s Gloucester Road today, I fancied eating something I wasn’t going to be able to cook at home. Something proper tasty though, as I was ravenous.

Tucked in at the bottom of Gloucester Road opposite Shape, Wrap and Roll, sits The Coconut Tree, where they aim to bring Sri Lanken street food to us here Bristolians (I’m actually from Bath, but who cares)

This place was alight with red wallpaper, scattered with palm trees, and a dining space filled with high tables. It was everything you’d expect for a tapas style eatery. The walls also donned tribute to their native Elephants and it was an all round vibrant vibe.

I was driving, so sadly didn’t get to try them, but the cocktail menu looked insane! Serving Sri Lanken takes on classics like, Old Fashioned, that had a chocolate twist, and Espresso Martinis made with coconut milk. They also had an amazing sounding turmeric and coconut concoction, that I’ll definitely be trying on my return.

Now let’s get to the bit you’re all waiting for, the food!

It was a serious taste explosion. Dishes are served as tapas, but are by no means small. We shared 6 between two of us and to be honest it was too much. But that was just because the richness and flavours were so intense, you didn’t need to stuff your face to feel satisfied.

I had THE best goat curry I have ever tasted, and being a huge fan of Caribbean food where goat is often used, I’ve tasted a few.

It was like curried silk. Salty and full of spicy flavour, but for you mild curry lovers, don’t worry, it wasn’t overly hot. The red rice was cooked to perfection too. We also had spicy cuttlefish pieces, for calamari lovers these are the shiz.

As were the chilli cheesy cubes of lushness, the devilled crispy pork, the melt in the mouth flat bread and every single thing on the menu, was insanely good.

Along with great food, they also had great staff, they gave us a talk about how to get the best of the flavours. And the best bit…. drumroll…. KIDS EAT FREE!!

Yes, they really do. There’s no catch, they just get to choose a free dish from the kids menu. Ciara especially loved the flat bread!

The whole place was alive with a lively buzz, and that was at lunchtime. It cheered me up on a dreary day, when I was starving, but also during a time when I’m struggling to get excited about anything!

Shaun (my fiancé) and I, both agreed we absolutely need to return for ‘date night’

Whenever the next opportunity for that is, we’ll be enjoying it at The Coconut Tree, and I can’t wait to get on those cocktails.

©️