Monthly Archives: October 2012


Please don’t blog every day on November – NaBloPoMo 13

NaBloPoMo – what do those innocent looking letters mean?
NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month.

National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo, is a month long writing exercise intended to occur annually in November. The first NaBloPoMo occurred in November of 2006, and was the brainchild of an American blogger. It was inspired by National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which also happens every November. Now I have no issue with NaNoWriMo which was founded in 1999 by authors in the San Francisco Bay Area who wanted to motivate themselves into producing more written work. This challenge requires authors to produce a 50,000 word novel within one month.

But writing a blog, is not writing a novel.

I have to say for me blogging is about quality not quantity and I often find myself just bypassing blogs that I normally enjoy on a regular basis during the month of November. A large part of me feels that if you do not have something to say on every other day of the year what makes November special? It is a dark, dank and often dismal month in the UK and I look forward to reading blogs filled with all sorts of inspirational writing, making, baking and tales of everyday life.

Please don’t get me started on writing prompts. Who need a daily prompt of what to write about? Get a journal people and spare the readers.

Oh and yes, before anyone says it is a free world and I don;t have to read if I don’t want to, well I know that and I won’t be.


Dracula’s Strange Addiction 5

ini is also joining in with the Spooky Scribe team and below is his story, which the team at Asda are going to to add to a book for him to keep. So without further ado, I present you Mini’s story, which he typed up himself and added the clip art too (he is six and I am in awe of his computer skills)! I guess you can make out from this story, that Mini has a sweet tooth.


Get outside this half term

It is our half term next week and we are big fans of the great outdoors and very lucky to have some wonderful diverse countryside on our doorstep. We are less than a minute from a fab woodland area 5 minutes from the beach and 15 minutes from the North Yorkshire moors.

One of the things that stop people getting outdoors is that they are not appropriately dressed. We have been trying out some splats and have to say they are the perfect footwear for our damp autumn and are easy for the boys to put on themselves, warmer than wellies and are great for Mini, who can not get into wellies with his wide feet and large instep.

I often find that this half term is one of the most exhilarating to be out in. We need to make the most of the daylight before the darker days and nights creep in. So here are some


International Day of the girl – Education 1

As a mum of two boys, I feel very strongly that they have respect, understanding and think of girls as their equals. Does this make me a feminist?

I feel that it is my job as a woman, mother and feminist to instill in them that women and girls are their equals. All children, boys and girls, have a better chance in life when their mothers have benefitted from gender equality. Educated mothers are more able to support their families both economically and emotionally. Men and boys are part of the solution.

Today is the first ever International Day of the girl. As a woman this is not something that I can ignore. Worldwide, girls carry the burden of poverty more than anyone and 75 million girls are currently denied an education. What is one of these girls is the woman who was destined to discover the cure for cancer? 75 Million girls are NOT in school, which is about one in three girls worldwide. This is a HUGE waste of potential. They do not have a choice in this, but you have a choice in standing against this discrimination.

What can you do to make a difference?

Sign Plan International’s petition to ask that education be made a priority for girls

“speak out against gender bias and advocate for girls’ rights everywhere” as International Day of the Girl asks you too.


Our Dream Garden 3

We love our home. We moved here six years ago from Berkshire and this house was totally supposed to be a temporary stop gap until we built our own home on the farm. But……… we really love the house we bought and are very happy in it to have parked our other plans for sometime in the future. The only thing we would really love to change is our garden. As a family it really doesn’t suit our lifestyle.

So before I tell you what we would love to have from a garden let me show you our current garden. Please bear in mind it was a mud pit when we moved in!


Polarn O. Pyret in action 5

As you can see from above, they have worn them on numerous occasions and they are brilliant. We received some colourful denims in blue, which both the boys have worn. They have an adjustable waist and look great rolled up on Mini or full length on Maxi. Mini is seen wearing a block stripe top , what I like about this is it washes and dries really well without pulling out of shape and it made from the softest cotton. Maxi is seen in the PO.P stripe top, which is currently in the sale at £11. This is made from organic cotton and Maxi loves it. It has become his go to top. He has issues with sensitivity and this top does not itch, scratch or rub in any way. We were so impressed with the clothes that I have even ordered some more in the mid season sale, which just shows that the boys love them.


Imperfect Parenting in an Imperfect World 12

I used to think I was a crap mum. I used to feel that my family would be better off without me. I do not say these things for people to counter with “no you aren’t” or “no you weren’t”. The fact is that I really did feel this way and I truly thought that MadDad and the boys would be better off without me. I suffered with Post Natal Depression, I bullied myself, catastrophised everything and was filled with terrible anxiety. I couldn’t separate rational and irrational thoughts. I received fantastic treatment including cognitive behavioral therapy over five years ago now and it changed the person that I was and helped make me the mum and person I am now .

I was reading Kate’s post earlier in the week about how scared parenting made her feel and it brought all those feelings back to me, but rather than let them take over me, I remembered that I am parenting in an imperfect world and my imperfect parenting skills are just preparing y boys for the road which they will travel. This is one of the biggest things that CBT gave me, it helped be put things into perspective and process them. I am not a perfect mum, but I am the best mum the boys could hope for, I am their mum and I love them with all my heart and every fibre of my being.

I have two quotes that help me navigate the waters of perfection, for as soon as I realised that I didn’t need to be the perfect mother, that it was OK to give shop bought food and not beat myself up about formula feeding and ensured that if I was happy so would the boys be, things started to come together for us all.

“There is no one way to be the perfect Mother, but there are millions of ways to be a good one!” – Jill Churchill

“Being Happy doesn’t mean everything’s perfect, It means that you have decided to look beyond the imperfections” – Gerard Way

So on those days when I am screaming like a fishwife at my boys or wondering how to find the words to tell them about challenges that life may through at them, I hope that I can remember that it is OK to be an imperfect parent in an imperfect world and give myself a break, for this parenting lark is the hardest, unceasing, but most rewarding job I have ever done or will ever do.


Everyday Echo’s 19

They all tell you the same cliches:

You won’t know that you did with yourself before they came along

There is nothing quite like being a mother

You will have so much respect for your mother once you are one

They grow up so fast

We heard them all and so many more, but we didn’t listen. We had waiting many a long year to have a child. We both longed for children, but had convinced ourselves and each other that we were fine as a couple and that we couldn’t keep on trying and failing at being parents. Then one day we had a little boy and then 15 months later another new born. Those first years past by in a blur of nappies, exhaustion, feeding and joy, inescapable joy. I can not put into words how lucky we are to have two amazing, unique and challenging children.

Those children that each night before bed we both go and watch sleep, just as we did from the first day we brought each of them home. It is part of our nighttime routine. MadDad goes to one door and I the other, then we pass on the landing as we swap. Then we move on to our room safe that we have breathed in a special piece of our family to infuse our sleep with. I like to use the excuse that I want to make sure they are tucked in and their lights are off and books off the best, but in truth I want to just watch them and breathe in their smell.


It is the abductors fault, not the parents 17

and in light of April’s abduction we have also discussed not going with someone that you know unless Mummy or Daddy say it is OK and if we are not there and have not agreed it then unless they child is with them, then they are not to go with them, with the exclusions of family.
I do not live in constant fear of them being taken. I am well aware that some people might think I am being naive, but they are my children and this is my parenting choice. I feel that they gain so much from being allowed the freedom they are. We live in a village where lots of children play out. I let them get on their scooters and scoot to their friends house. I know where they are most of the time. They also take a walkie talkie out with them too.

I remember growing up with similar ground rules and I also firmly believe that we are more aware of the dangers these days, but they are not necessarily more people like this around, it is just we are aware of them more.


English Summer Cupcakes for the Great British Bake Off 6

I along with 9 other bloggers are taking part in The Great Blogger Bake Off challenge. Each of the bloggers involved has been allocated a letter to put on top of their cakes, you can see Cass’s and her Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes. There will be a letter a week over the ten weeks of the series, at the end you can unjumble them to find a word.

These cupcakes were pretty easy to bake and went down a treat at home. They look much more impressive than they are to make and I will be baking them again with different fillings and toppings.

We received most of the ingredients to make the cupcakes, a complimentary copy of the Great British Bake Off Book and the app.


Autumn cleaning naturally 4

There is something about Autumn that sets me off on a mad cleaning frenzy. I know I should do it in spring, but for both me and MadDad it is an Autumn thing. We have just decorated the lounge, sitting room and hall, well painted them and I have the kitchen next on the list.

Cleaning is not my favorite past time, but since having the boys it is something that I get them to help me with. As I want them to help it is important to me that we use natural products, so that I feel safe having them use them too. My cleaning kit at the moment consists of white vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, a gentle soap, borax substitute, tea tree oil and cloths.

All purpose spray cleaner

1/2 cup of white vinegar
2 teaspoons of borax substitute
A dab of liquid soap
5 drops of tea trea oil
2 cups hot tap water
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag. I have a bag full of old tea towels t shirts etc that we use in the kitchen, in addition to some microfibre cloths that we use for cleaning. I also have a post about 15 uses for white vinegar over on A Thrifty Mum.

The only time that I really use kitchen roll is when I am cleaning the bin or the toilets, as I can use the sheet and then pop it in the compost bin for hygiene reasons.


How to encourage teeth brushing in children 9

The video comes on the back of research that Aquafresh conducted of 1,500 mums of children aged 2-12 that reveals that more than one million under-fives in the UK have at least two fillings, as mums struggle to get kids to brush their teeth. Other findings from the research are:

• One in six (17 per cent) mums say their child has at least 3 fillings

• 13 per cent of mums have children who have at least one filling by the time they start school (aged 3)

• Almost one in four (24 per cent) mums say their children only brush their teeth once a day and one in fifty say they don’t brush at all

• The research showed that almost half (47 per cent) of kids under 12 have been told they have dental decay, one of the most preventable diseases in the UK

• Over half of mothers (53 per cent) admit to finding getting their kids to brush their teeth stressful – potentially leading to arguments in over 2.5 million families

• One in fifty mums even admitted that their kids never brush their teeth.