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10 Things You Will Hate About Me

24 Apr I had had about 500 glasses of wine in this picture taken by Catherine Rodie. Please refer to point 8.

I had had about 500 glasses of wine in this picture taken by Catherine Rodie. Please refer to point 8.

The joy of the inter webs is you can fully brand yourself any way you please and paint a fantabulous picture of an overachieving domestic goddess who never puts a foot wrong style wise, be it in home or attire, food wise, or parenting wise.

A perfect wife, an awesome friend, and frankly, your farts don’t even smell because computers haven’t advanced to Smellivision yet.

Let me tell you, I am a little bit like what you see, but mostly I’m like a revolting teenage boy.

I am so gross sometimes my habits even disgust myself.

I’m not always a good friend, and I’m often a distracted, cranky and terrible wife and mother.

I have loads of great clothes but tend to wear the same 5 things because I mostly live in suburban parks and supermarkets and I often accessorise with snot and cooties… or I’m in smelly gym gear as I’m endeavouring to work out the suburban angst in the spin room.

I do eat well for the most part, as I represent, but really I just take pictures of the good shit and figure if there’s no photographic evidence of the fish fingers and cheesy beans on toast then my culinary skills will never come into question. I actually enjoy eating down sometimes, there’s great comfort to be found in ghetto nosh.

I’m going to come clean today with 10 things (in no particular order) you previously did not know about me that will probably make you think I’m a little bit gross, tacky or an arsehole.

1. I’m bossy as all fuck

I’m ok with the word bossy, because I am bossy. I’ve always been bossy, and I’ve always been called bossy. Haven’t needed therapy for that particular chestnut thus far.

2. I bite the skin around my fingernails

I don’t even realise I’m doing most of the time, but other times it’s a very conscious thing. No finger is spared, however I pay particular attention to my right index finger which generally has no finger print, which would be awesome if I could rob a bank with a single digit.

3. I like getting my own way and am prone to sulking when I don’t.

What an arsehole, right? I can’t help it if my ideas are the better ones.

4. I offend people all the time.

Obviously I don’t mean to, but my big mouth has a tiny filter and words can fall out around the edges of it. Also, I’m big on thinking after I speak.
Maybe I’ll think before I speak when I’m a grown up. Something to look forward to.

5. I peed in public pools until only a couple of years ago.

Told you you’d hate me.

6. I have been known to park in a child friendly parking space when I don’t have the children with me.

Only did it twice, but I can’t guarantee I’d never do it again.

7. I like passing wind in the car with the kids in the back.

I owe them, man. It’s only fair.

8. After only one drink I swear like a drunken Irish sailor.

Seriously, more than every second word.

9. I’m anal about washing up the kitchen immediately after eating.

I hate waking up to a dirty kitchen.

10. I smacked both of my children yesterday evening.

They fought all day and I lost my cool.
I hate that about me too.


To be honest, I could probably rattle off another 10 without really having to think but I’d hate to give all of my foulness away in one post.


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Portrait 365 : 111-115

22 Apr Vivian



“The flying elephant is my favourite”



“I’m making lunch for 100 friends and family. I’m looking forward to the lunch, but I’m really looking forward to the music and the dancing.”
On an early morning run I spied a garage set up with portable stoves and many large metal pots bubbling and steaming away, whilst Arabinda sat on an upturned bucket peeling a million potatoes in his dressing gown. I couldn’t resist squatting down and chatting about his garage kitchen antics.



The hair, the glasses, the tutu that you can’t see. I fell in love with Kiki a little bit when I saw her. If you want to fall in love with her a little bit you can find out where to see her here. I saw her at La Petit Grande, the Spiegelesque tent. 



“I’m scared of the dark. It started when I was a kid and I thought about ghosts in the dark and it never went away.”



“I love chocolate. Not just at Easter, all the time. Hazelnut milk chocolate. That’s the one.”

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Never forget the true meaning of Easter….. The Easter Show.

20 Apr the show

The idea of the Royal Easter Show sends shivers down my spine. Not those exciting anticipatory shivers, but more like the shivers you get just before you pass diarrhoea.

I get that The Show is kinda fun, but it’s just such a ball ache.

It’s the mission to get there, the throngs of bogans, the gaggles upon swarms of other people’s children, the Dagwood Dogs from oily smelling vans, the penned animals in humid tents, exorbitant parking, the waiting – oh, the waiting in lines – and the million dollars you spend in order to have this horrible day out.

I reckon it would be fairly safe to call me the Easter Grinch….. that was until this year. I was pumped.

I admit that I only braved the baby sister lame-o excursion to the Easter Family Show at Fox Studios, but it had everything I described just in smaller, more palatable doses.

In fact, The Grinch had herself bags of fun…. but man, that four hours felt like a 48 hour dance-a-thon. My feet were sore, my back ached, I was covered in a mild layer of dirt, and I had tomato sauce smeared all over me making me look like I’d been to battle.

The kids had a great day though but it’s hard to tell, check out D Man’s head when he’s finally got hold of the first hotdog of his life.

A horse walks into a bar, or what????

the arrival the show


the rides the show

the show

kiks and clowns the showDSC_0022

the lego, the showthe lego the showthe junk food the showjosh and ducks the showthe animals the showthe birds the showthe mice, the showthe love the show

the show bag, the showthe end the show

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Portrait 365 : 106 – 110

17 Apr Thomas

I have met some amazing people in the past 5 days. From new jobs to adventures at sea. There was a few knock backs, and I totally get it if you don’t feel like being photographed by a random woman with two children dangling off her. It is a little odd.

110 days in it’s not getting easier to shoot people, and I’ve realised it’s totally dependent on my head space. It’s like cold calling or something.

I see hundreds of people every day, but I also don’t shoot just anyone. It’s a pull. I suddenly see someone and think ‘YOU’…. Unless I’ve been shit with my commitment, and then I’m like a desperado at the end of the night trying to hook snog, gazing madly around the general public trying to manufacture the ‘YOU’ moment.

None of these fit that bill though. These are primo subjects, especially my birthday boy with his cheeky smile.



Loves to sing Happy Birthday to others, not fond of receiving it appears.



“I’m in Sydney for 8 hours only. I’m here from Perth to visit my girlfriend in Newcastle but she’s working all day.”



“Every tequila idea is a good idea.”
Adam is my new boss at the production company. With pearls of wisdom such as these I think we’ll get along just fine.



Nataya was so cool. She and her friends are here from Thailand for four months and they just wanted to take picture of my kids….. so I turned the camera on them. I couldn’t find out anything else because we had a mega language barrier. Obviously, style knows no barriers.

Ingrid and Phil

Ingrid and Phil

“The amazing thing is sitting and eating a meal uninterrupted.”
I loved these guys. They saw me get on the ferry with the double pram and two kids and they practically high fived each other because they’re on a kid free weekend in the city. With a 7 year old autistic son and a two year old daughter, I reckon a 3 day cheeky weekend together is a special type of bliss.

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Strange BBQ beasts, and Moroccan Chicken Pie

15 Apr chicken bastilla

chicken bastilla ingredients***This is a sponsored post courtesy of Steggles and Digital Parents Collective. All ideas are my own and recipe is mine, all mine***

I ate some amazing food in Morocco. Mounds of marinated olives, breads that defy definition and lots and lots of cous cous. In fact, it was where the term ‘Cous Cous Pants’ was coined but we need not go into that here.

They also have roadside BBQs called meshwe but I’m sad to say I never sampled the food…. want to know why?

It’s a tad shameful to be honest.

Our bus would pull up next to a roadside meshwe, nestled on the side of a mountain surrounded by lush greenery, manned by a swarthy, sweaty man toiling over hot coals with rivulets of perspiration running down his face and often no hairs left upon his forearms, but the thought of burning hair or man sweat seasoning my BBQ’d meat was not the problem.

The problem was that I dug in my heels in agriculture class at high school.

chicken bastillaWTF, Where is this going? I hear you cry……

You see, although I was never a vegetarian and I was happy as a pig in proverbial to dissect as frog, I was not so keen on agriculture class or as it’s affectionately referred to – Ag.

Rhymes with gag.

I got myself excused on the day they branded pigs, and I think I bunked the day they docked sheep tails, and then I promptly forgot that sheep have tails.

Cut back to Morocco – there I was standing in front of what was probably the best lamb BBQ I was ever going to nosh in my life, but I was certain that poor, flayed, long-tailed creature was a dog.

I couldn’t do it. As mouth-watering as the aroma that tickled my nostrils may well have been I walked away; I ate some fruit, bread and olives and got back on the bus with a rumbling tummy thinking how delicious BBQ dog smelled.

Another thing I wished I’d tried was squab bastille, or pigeon as it’s more commonly known. I’d heard so much about the famed pie, but in all of my Moroccan adventure I never saw anyone eating anything other than tagine and cous cous.

I don’t often think to use chicken mince, but when Steggles offered to send me some of their über lean minced breast and thigh to try I knew I’d be able to pull something outta the bag.

It boasts being a lean source of protein and carries ye olde Heart Tick of approval and Coles is selling two 500g packs for a tenner (except WA for some reason. Sorry Perth), so it’s cheap as chips.chicken bastilla

Chicken Bastilla with Moroccan Carrot Salad.

Serves 4-6

What you will need :

For the pie - 

  • 1 kilo chicken mince
  • 2 small or one medium leek, white part only
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1/2 cup each of parsley and coriander
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • a good grind of fresh black pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • 11 sheets filo pastry
  • olive oil spray, or melted butter
  • icing sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling and dusting

For the salad - 

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pinenuts
  • 2 tablespoons crystallised ginger, chopped
  • 2 lemons, juice and rind finely grated
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • a handful of chopped coriander

What you will need to do :

Pop a little olive oil into a large frypan over a medium heat and fry off your garlic until it’s fragrant. Toss in your leek and give it a good sweat.

Next, add your chicken mince ensuring you have enough heat so as to cook it fast, cooking off the juice as you go and not stew it.

Ensure you keep stirring well until your chook is browned off. Chuck in your cumin and cinnamon, stir.

Next up add your almonds and sultanas, lemon zest and herbs giving it all shimmy.

chicken bastillaAdd your stock and then throw in your beaten eggs ensuring you stir it up like a Bob Marley song.

Preheat your oven to 200C.

Next, lightly spray or butter your pie dish. I use olive oil spray because I’m lazy and it’s easy. There, I said it.

Lay one piece of filo across ways in your dish, and then lay another the other way, forming a cross. Spray lightly with oil, dust with a little icing sugar and cinnamon (sounds weird, but trust me!).

chicken bastilla filo pastryRepeat until your have 5 layers (10 pieces – 2 pieces per layer, know what I mean?) and then pop your mince in.

Gently fold each bit piece by piece until you have just a couple of bits left then place your remaining sheet over the top sop it looks tidy. Fold up your last pieces and crinkle them around the edges and do a final spray and dust.

Toss her in the oven and leave her then until golden brown and crunchy, about 30-40 minutes depending on your oven.

For the salad, lightly steam the carrots until they are just al dente and toss together with the remaining ingredients.



chicken bastilla and moroccan carrot saladChicken mince is a cracker for fussy eaters because the flavour is fairly innocuous. It would work it’s butt off with my San Choy Bow recipe, or my Curried Mince.

If you need some more minced chook inspo, check out the Stegglers ideas.

Steggles are also offering a motza gift pact to one lucky reader of my choice. All you have to do is leave a comment on either Facebook or this post of what you would like me to make with chicken mince. I will make your request and send you on through a prize pack.

Not bad, eh?chicken bastilla

  • The motza Steggles gift pack includes:

o   2 Cooler bags

o   a couple of aprons

o   4 caps

o    a couple of Picnic Blankets

o   Footy and Frisbees

o   Recipe Cards


Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now.

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Portrait 365 : 98 – 105

13 Apr Kayte and Beth

I’ve had a bumper week. Like, madly, stupidly bumper.

I’ve picked up some tv producing work and been working on writing commissions and giving talks about food at schools and to groups of women and, and, and, and, my feet have barely touched the ground.

I feel like I’m in a whirlwind, but it’s a sweet, warm whirlwind to I’m just going with it.

Last night (amidst much drunken revelry and fabbo frocks) I was announced as being in the Kidspot Top 30 Personal and Parenting bloggers and I really want to say a big thanks to everyone who voted for me. To see my name next to some bloggers I really admire is such an honour and a thrill and to be in the same room as many of my “colleagues” was a joy. I made some new friends fo’shizz, tequila will do that.

Without further ado, let’s see who I’ve shot this week…..

Spiderman Sean

Spiderman Sean

“I’m on my way to a kid’s party.”
“I figured.”
“This is not my regular Sunday outfit.”



D Man claims Orsha is his new best best friend. They met once, for ten minutes, and have never seen each other again. The finer details don’t matter don’t matter to him, I guess it’s a feeling.



Technically shot on the same day as her sister but those eyes….. those eyes.



“Is it my birthday again tomorrow?”
Valid question, buddy. Sadly, no.



“My heart is with the community. I want to give people a sense of belonging to something.”
Felicity and I are beginning to work together on a project called Overhaul Wellness. Wellness days to help you balance your body, mind and spirit. Stay tuned.

Pastor Bronwyn

Pastor Bronwyn

“I come from a family of traveling performers. When they put me into boarding school the nuns got cross because my grandmother had sent me with silky pajamas.”
I went to church this week for the first time in about 20 years. I wasn’t there for a service though, I went to talk food to group of lovely women.

Kayte and Beth

Kayte and Beth

Kayte : “Say what you want. It’s your blog.”
Beth : “I finally cracked it when I wrote a post about a fitted sheet.”
These chicks are kind of The Shit. This image was taken as pretty much the first thing I said to these ladies who you may know better as Woogsworld and BabyMac. Fast forward a few hours and Beth touched my boobs and we were the last ones to be thrown out of the pub. Firm friends now I would say.


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10 Apr Dexter

first lookMy big little man,

1459 days we’ve spent together but it’s been 1460 nights.

35, 040 hours have past since you were first laid upon my bare breast and you looked straight at me, straight in my eyes, and they said -


That first night with you beside my bed I couldn’t sleep a wink. I couldn’t believe you were here. I couldn’t believe you were mine.

So perfect, so sweet smelling. That didn’t last.

D Man and mama

Countless heartbeats have passed between us but your heartbeats are your own now. I used to feel every one, but you are getting more distant as you turn from a baby into a boy. In a few more blinks of my eyes you’ll be a man.

They always said it goes fast, and it does. Not the nights. The endless, drawn out nights where you cried, or were ill, and I held you, but they seem so far away now when all you want from me is maybe a quick cuddle or to take you for a pee before you roll over and snuggle your face into Rat and spoon that toy that is no longer bigger than you.

You’re so confident and smart. You chat to people, and you charm them with your funny wit or silliness, unless you drive them nuts with your whining. That happens too.

You surprise me and delight me endlessly and I really couldn’t be prouder of you.

D man almost oneToday you are four.

The first birthday that I won’t be with you all day.

I feel a healthy dose of mother’s guilt over that, but it’s also the first birthday that your Papa has spent the whole day with you. He’ll show you a grand old time and we’ll kick it large on the weekend with a chocolate cake bigger than your head.

When we were leaving the supermarket today I gave you and Kiki a biscuit. You were stoked, but your cranky pants sister didn’t want it and she hit it out of my hand and onto the ground.

Then she wanted it, naturally.

I refused to give her another, and nor would I pick the one up off the carpark floor, and she squawked and squawked. As we were driving off she suddenly went quiet. I figured she was inhaling a really huge breath in order to give it some more however when I turned she was eating half a biscuit.

D man about twoYou had split yours and passed it over in the backseat.

Now, don’t get me wrong, boy, you are a stinker when you want to be, and you torture that poor sister of yours, but in that moment I saw your true character, and you’re a good dude.

Happy birthday, D Man.

I love you to the shops and back,

Mama xxx

DSC_0289 D Man 4

Portrait 365 : 93-97

5 Apr Gabrielle


I kinda keep to myself at the gym. I say hi to a few people but mostly I just do my thing. I’ve seen Haley around a bit, we often do the same classes and I find her really captivating because she’s really strong and focused.




“I just keep on going, because that’s what you do, right?”
Gab is one of my oldest friends and we’ve stood beside each other through about as much as you can, but I don’t doubt there’s more. We’d been having a long chat about grief and life. She’s a very strong woman.




Urban camouflage. I posted this on my Facebook, but it is freakin’ hilarious.



I approached three people to photograph this day. A gorgeous old lady in a floral dress and wonderful hat, a young Muslim lady on a bus stop in beautiful morning light, and an old dude who just looked like a crinkly old dude.

All three declined so I reckon three strikes and you’re out.




“I train every morning except Wednesdays”
“What’s the plan?”
“I go to Nationals next week.”
“How did you go at last Nationals?”
“I came third.”
Good luck, Jesse. You’ve worked hard, man.


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Milestones, tears and lunchbox scrolls

1 Apr scrolls

Kiki's first day of kindyKiki’s little body looked so tiny when her new pink and turquoise butterfly bag was hoisted onto her back.

She wouldn’t let me carry it for her even though with her water bottle and lunchbox it was kind of heavy. She was well chuffed to finally have a school bag to call her own. Maybe she’ll grow up to be lover of fine handbags, or kooky carriers that look like animals.

Or just a crazy bag lady.

Walking up the footpath, heading to her first day of daycare, my heart was as heavy in my chest as her bag looked on her shoulders.

Always fiercely independent Kiki wouldn’t even let me help her by taking some of the weight, so I left her because essentially that’s what this day is about.

The second cutting of the cord.

She’s been looking forward to this day for weeks, always sad when we drop D Man off, always wanting to stay and play with the kids. She’s ready. I have no doubt, it’s just that it’s come sooner than I thought and my heart is a little heavy.

This is a milestone. For Kiki and for myself.

Next Monday I’ll be starting a new job. My first day of work in four years. Technically, between writing books and blogs and scripts and stuff I have barely had a single day off, but now I’m GOING TO WORK.

Somewhere that will require pants and a bra.

Kiki’s first day at kindy is a turning point that marks the beginning of big changes in my life, and all our lives, and her smiling face as she was smearing Clag glue all over paper with more abandon than I would never allow at home reminds me that this the beginning of a new era and not just the end of an old one.

She’s only going two days a week, but right now that feels like a lot.

Kiki's first day of kindyI felt quite brave walking in but 15 minutes later as I kissed her little golden head goodbye I was quite shaky on the insides.

I gathered my things and called goodbye to her one last time, but she didn’t even turn to look at me as she was engrossed in something new and exciting.

It’s lucky, I suppose, because she would have seen tears welling in my eyes and a spectacularly wobbly lip as I severed that umbilical cord just a little bit further and say farewell to my baby.

I’ll pick her up after lunch. Just a short day on your first day, but I made sure her lunch was a special one, because she’s also mega proud of her new lunchbox. It’s just like her big brother’s, you see, and she thinks he’s pretty cool except when he’s licking her hair, sticking dinosaurs down her nappy or stealing her food.

scrolls2Cheesy lunchbox scrolls

Yield : 10 

What you will need :

  •  1 ½ cups plain flour (I used spelt)
  •  1 ½ cups wholemeal flour (I used spelt)
  •  3 teaspoons baking soda
  •  1 pinch Salt and cracked black pepper
  •  60 grams chilled butter, chopped
  •  ¾ cup milk
  •  3 tablespoons Mrs Balls Chutney (or whatever chutney floats your boat)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 rashers of bacon, diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs or thyme
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  •  1 ½ packed cups grated cheese
  • 1/2 zucchini grated
  •  Extra milk, for brushing (may require more)

scrollsWhat you will need to do :

Preheat oven to 210°C

Fry off your bacon until cooked and yummy. Set aside to cool.

Quick-whisk the flour (don’t forget my whisk trick, just whisk it! Place the flour into a bowl and give it a good whisk to aerate and remove lumps. My cheats’ version of sifting)

Add baking powder, salt and pepper and herbs in a bowl and add the butter then using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. Toss in your chopped spring onion.

Make a well in the centre. Combine the milk with ½ cup water and pour the liquid into the well. Using a flat bladed knife, cut through the flour mixture until it comes together as a rough dough. If it’s too dry, add a little more water a teaspoon at a time.

Tip the dough onto a work surface dusted with flour and knead lightly until it can form a ball. Don’t overwork it. Roll out the dough to a rectangle approximately 30 x 40cm in size.

Mix your tomato paste and chutney together and smear over the entire surface, then sprinkle with cheese, cooled bacon and grated zucchini.

Roll up to form a big cigar. Slice the roll into pieces approximately 2cm wide and place scrolls so they are touching each other on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush each scroll with a little extra milk

Chuck them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through and crunchy. If the scrolls start to brown too quickly cover with foil

Cool on a wire rack then break apart.

kiki's first day of kindy

Nude yoga? Put that away.

26 Mar source

Picture this, a room full of people, both men and women, gentle music playing in the background with waterfalls and soft pan pipes echoing through the Andes or something equally quasi-relaxing.

Blue and purple yoga mats adorn the floor like a patchwork quilt and the room full of bodies are all breathing into their sore spots as they contort themselves in a downward dog.

Just another yoga class, right?

Now imagine they’re all naked.

Bare butts in the air, secret starfish winking with exertion, dangly bits doing what they do best and breasts, well, it depends I suppose.

Naked friggin’ yoga.



I read this article about it and it was not tongue in cheek, or joking in the slightest.

I cannot stop giggling. Really?


People do that??

I’m down with a nude beach, hell, even nude volleyball if you want, but YOGA???

Even the grab quote makes me giggle like a 5 year old -

“When we’re naked, it’s like we’re all the same”

No, we’re not. We’re all beautifully different, and watching people do yoga at the best of times can be awkward. Penises doing a mini-Salute To The Sun is downright hilarious.

I dare say watching a magnificently formed creature do yoga would be quite something to behold (genitalia notwithstanding), but for the rest of the populace…. come on.

I realise that you’re probably supposed to be focused on your own breathing and stretching, but I confess I would not be able to concentrate in a room full of people putting the arse in Asana.

I’m no prude. Really, I’m not.

Skinny dipping, no problem. In fact I’m a fan.

Haven’t actually partaken in huge amounts of sober nude swimming, but after a tasty beverage or 100 I don’t take much convincing to waltz down the beach with my buns shining under the moonlight or dive into the neighbouring hotel’s pool as naked as a fish in the middle of the night.

(Safety warning – naked swimming whilst under the influence is not recommended by Bondi Rescue, particularly during daylight hours).

Changing in front of people? Well, depends on the circumstance.

If I know you, I’m pretty chilled. Almost every one of my friends will attest to that. Probably a little less overt now than I used to be though… but only just.

In a public change room I do the shuffle whereby I tend to poke my least embarrassing nude bits out at the public and turn the rest of me to the wall.  The result of moist, sticky skin and fuggy change rooms actually probably renders me looking somewhat epileptic.

Maybe naked yoga is just the thing I need to really bring me out of my shell?

It’s most definitely not a sexual thing. The Bold & Naked Yoga Studio openly stipulates on their website that -


That wouldn’t even cross my mind, to be honest.

During yoga I’m usually concentrating too hard on not falling over or farting to even consider arousal. What does cross my mind, however, is how could I ever scrub from my retina the vision of 20 starkers yoga fans doing the Frog Pose?



Arghhhhh, my eyes! MY EYES!!!!

Yoga has never really been my thing anyway. I’m more of a boxing/spin/smash my cardio type of trainer so maybe I’ll keep my eye out for Nude Spin.

That said, if Mister Dimples held a naked spin class I may require defibrillation before the class even started.

I’d dread to imagine what that would look like.

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