31 May 2015

So long May, here comes June!

The picture above is what I'd like June to be like please. Sunnies, flip flops, maybe some sand, def some sunshine...and a coconut with an umbrella!! There should always be a coconut with an umbrella!

Here's some things we're all excited about for the upcoming month...

New garden furniture arrives this week. Prospect of sitting down outside while Toddler and Baby and friends play is making me want to pee my pants a little bit. Exciting times!

We're off to Liverpool to meet Auntie and Niece for the day. Yes, it's a very long way and yes, I'm panicking about Baby and the journey but yes, we are well overdue a trip up there and yes, it will soon be over. I'm being mean. It'll be fine once we arrive (still sits here thinking of reasons why we can't go...)

Nana and Ukelele Guy are coming for supper on Friday night and both boys are looking forward to seeing them. Love some quality family time. Main aim of the evening is to get Nana to put her iPhone down. We'll see how we go.

Eco-Mama's little one turns 4 this week and we've been invited to the bash. Toddler and he are kindred spirits and really enjoy playing together so that will be lovely, can't wait!

Nana, Auntie and I are doing the Race for Life on Sunday. This is now a bit of a tradition, one which has been going for 5/6 years without my express enthusiasm. The first year we did it I was unfit, then I was pregnant, then I was unfit again, then it was too hot to move, then I was breastfeeding, finally this year I am actually in some sort of shape and not totally dreading it. Mainly, am just hoping all my running with Yummy Mummy and Lawyer Mama will mean that I won't spend the majority of the thing huffing and puffing and having to listen to my mother comment on how, even though she's 30 years older than me, she's just as fast. Grr!

Our Cancer Research annual luncheon is the weekend after and this year I've got a table of fabulous girlfriends going, can't WAIT! There's an indian summer's inspired menu, childcare provided by the menfolk and a lot of champagne on ice, weeee!

Toddler has his two taster days in Kindergarten coming up this month. This is something HE is excited about so I added it to the list...but Mama hasn't yet decided how she feels. I'm excited, and nervous and quite close to shrieking 'no, no, no, I've changed my mind...' and rushing him back to the safety and security of our own four walls. We'll see how I get on.

The local boys' grammar school where nephew attends has their annual ball coming up this month too (say what you like about this place 8 months of the year but they really do excel themselves over Summer and those 2.5weeks at Christmas) Really need to sort a dress for that so we don't wind up having the same 2-days-before-an-event-I've-known-about-for-months-so-what-the-feck-shall-I-wear angst. Groan!

Then we have the annual school event for the school Toddler is about to join which is usually a black tie, glamorous, strictly for adults only, drink all you like, affair and this year is....a barndance. Can't say I'm excited about this event, am reluctantly attending purely to see Husband and Leeds Dad fall over themselves doing the grapevine in stetsons. Should be worth a laugh!

Ooh and then it's hair straightening time again. No more sleeping like a corpse trying to get the damn stuff to lie flat, weeeeee mega thrills! It's a terribly boring process that takes bloody hours and stinks the house out but sooooo worth it. Can't wait.

Bring it on, June, we're thrilled to have you. But you HAVE to bring tan lines!!

Fuzzy head

It would appear that I have a slight hangover. Eeshk. Went to a wedding last night with Husband, Posh Mama and her husband. The beautiful couple are people we know from nursery who were finally tying the knot after 3 gorgeous babies...and we drank rather a lot of wine.
Luckily for me, it was also our 7th wedding anniversary yesterday so this morning I played the 'for my anniversary gift I'd reeeeeally like you to get up with the boys' card and God love him, he did.
It was only for an hour mind, and he did nothing more than feed and watch them until I surfaced, but I guess it still counts.
Once I've put some laundry on, loaded the dishwasher, tidied the art table away and made myself a coffee, a lazy Sunday is calling, enjoy yours everyone xx

27 May 2015


Have succumbed to yet more publicity and blog-lust and bought a Fitbit. I ordered it not really 100% knowing what it did, but it ticked the boxes of popular, fitness related, gadget, current trend...so of course I needed one in my life. Went with navy blue so that it would match 95% of my wardrobe and it arrived yesterday. 
Fair play, fellow bloggers who raved, it is pretty cool. It's understated and chic, does its job brilliantly well (essentially encourages you to do 10,000 steps a day) but also tracks your progress and achievements on a handy little app on your iPhone. Some fitness apps are either too complicated, don't actually collate the data you want them to (namely, have I moved enough today to eat this friggin' scone yet?!) or demand a huge premium to access anything remotely helpful. Fitbit's little app is actually quite good. It syncs with the device whenever you open it, tells you exactly how many steps you've done so far, you can manually add any exercise completed/food consumed/water drunk etc... Yesterday I only put it on at 4pm but still managed 8,500 steps by bed which I was proud of (a 50min run with Yummy Mummy and Lawyer Mama helped, but it still counts!)
What can I say? It's neat, encourages me to move my butt, looks cool...it will keep me focused for AT LEAST 2 weeks 😉

26 May 2015

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A whole week between posts, that's unforgivable. Have been in a funk of sorts, felt like I had nothing much to say. As well as being crazy-busy and not really having time to THINK of anything momentous to say. So all in all, a wipe-out of a week. Thought I'd try something new to kick-start my writing again, here's 10 tiny thoughts currently bouncing round my brain...
1. Have inadvertently taken 2 weeks off running. This probably hasn't helped my state of mind one jot so am back on it tonight at 7pm, no more excuses.
2. Tenants apparently move into old house today. This is making me feel literally sick to the stomach. I don't know why, think it's just such a huge responsibility. I hate it!
3. BFF's birthday today and it'll be the first time I've seen her since her mother-in-law gave me a telling off at sports day. That's also making me feel sick to the stomach and I don't even know why, since I'm fairly confident I was in the right...
4. Niece is coming on Thursday for a photo shoot in the garden. Crazy sister has invited along Nana, Mamar, Auntie and Cousin for a jolly under the guise of 'well, they haven't seen your new house yet... and I thought it would be nice...' The mere thought of this is causing me a headache, may have to think of an excuse why this shouldn't happen.
5. Buzz Lightyear is obviously being sat on by something or someone and keeps making noises in the empty playroom. Makes me feel less alone while Baby naps!
6. My FitBit should arrive today, woo!
7. Have finally, after 8 weeks of standing around watching children play in the garden, ordered new patio furniture which should be delivered in a week or so. That's exciting!
8. The luncheon we're holding for Cancer Research is a sell-out with 146 tickets all gone, am so happy, and very proud that this year I have my very own table of 10 wonderful girlfriends attending with me!

 9. It is cold enough today that I felt dreadful for taking Baby out in short sleeves and a gilet. It is meant to be May.
 and 10. I wish I'd remembered to buy frozen peas for tonight's tea. Bugger!

I feel better now, like that's 10 little thoughts I don't have to worry about any more. They are free in the universe and therefore no longer my responsibility! Ha ha!
Have a wonderful Tuesday, shall be back tomorrow with a post on starting school *weeps into hanky x

18 May 2015

Ozzy Girl

is going to be a MAMA!!!
Got a little scan photo sent by text today and burst into tears. Am so deliriously happy for her and her Husband.
She was the wild one at uni, friend of a friend, met on a drunken night out and bonded immediately. She's always the last one standing at a party, first to kick her shoes off, often loses her bag and keys. She's far too blunt for her own good and I'm far too sensitive. Often we've cried and fought and grumped. But I love love love her and when her shit of a first Husband upped and left (teenage sweethearts, married straight after graduation, didn't see it coming at all...) we knew of the perfect guy to introduce her to. Off she jetted, to Australia, for 12 months of healing and when she came back we said 'Ozzy Girl, meet Best Man, Best Man, meet Ozzy Girl...' and that was it. Bam.
And now they're going to be parents. Best Man is just the most perfect Daddy-to-be, kind and thoughtful and fun and energetic and apprehensive but methodical. She's flaky and confident and fun and relaxed.
Am so excited to buy teeny tiny babygrows again. And also, is this weird, oddly jealous?? I want to be the one at scans and with a bump. This is an extremelt strange reaction because I detest being pregnant more than life itself. Hmm...Bizarre!
Am off to shop online...x

14 May 2015

Wardrobe layout

I am aware, even as I write these opening words, that this may well be the most disastrous blog post ever known to man. I am not gifted at taking photos, and as such, writing a post around such a photo-dependent topic may prove to be a bit of a flop! Anyhoo, on we forge...
So after months of trying to re-establish some small element of style to my day-to-day life with two small boys, I have made good head way into developing my wardrobe. Essentially I want to be able to fling open the doors (mental note, ask Husband to fix wardrobe doors), see a good range of easy to wear, capsule pieces that pretty much all go with each other in some combo or another, grab a scarf and a pair of earrings and run. Because, let's face it, that's all I have time for.
So far I've written the list of all I own, written the shopping list for pieces I wanted to add this season (and tried damn hard not to veer too far from it) and then identified the fact that my storage just wasn't really working for me.
So here's the new approach. In our new master bedroom there is a dressing room with 4/5 floor-to-ceiling wardrobes. The doors keep falling off the runners, the combination of rails and shelves isn't exactly as I'd like, the carpet at the bottom is threadbare...but it is there and it is solid and it WILL become a closet of dreams!! Bristol friends were travelling through here on the way to the Lakes recently and since they'd inherited some white bedroom furniture of ours when we sold the cottage down south we asked if they'd like the matching chests of drawers. They jumped at the chance, which then meant I had 5 days until they passed through on the way home and would collect them.
You may remember these were the drawers that held, wedding dress aside, my entire wardrobe. Eeshk!
So I had piles of stuff everywhere, Husband kept wandering in, chuntering about my incessant need to change things, then wandering off quickly incase he was roped in to help. Jen (from I Heart Organizing) always says that when you start a new project it is best to start with a blank canvas and I could already see that, if my stuff was going to work the way I wanted then Husband's gear was all going to have to switch around. So out came Husband's jumpers, tops, jeans...you name it, I had a pile of it in that small dressing room that morning.
This is about the time where I thought, I kinda like everything on the floor, at least I can see it...? and was tempted to walk out the door backwards and never return...!!
But I persevered and this is what the eventual result was...
OK, so this is the middle section of my side, where I have put (starting from the top) my beloved handbags, pjs, makeup and everyday toiletries, underwear, second drawer is Husband's underwear, then we have 3 shelves of heels and ballet pumps and daps. Pleas excuse Baby eating those beads, anything for a quiet 3 minutes!
On the left it looks a bit sad. This area of clothing may need some focus come Autumn?! At the top we have sweaters and lightweight jumpers and then at the bottom we have jackets. Heavy winter coats are currently hiding in the huge wardrobes in Toddler's room with our ski gear...may move them across here, may not?!

This is the door that gets opened the most. Here we have tunics and day dresses alongside multiple (read: far too many) stripy t-shirts. And then below we have all trousers. The new bins at the bottom are this week's TKMaxx find (God I love that place!) and currently hold running gear and 'items of clothing that will not hang on a regular hanger and need one with clips'!! That's a technical label obviously.

Here you can see what I like to refer to as the 'messy corner of shit' which is Husband's fifth of the space. It's my own fault for giving him the crappy area I didn't want. He hates the deep shelves that fill that corner so consequently refuses to fold anything and just throws gear in, making an unsightly mess. I try hard not to open this door unless I need my tall boots which hide at the bottom. It makes me sad. Anyhoo... he has tops and jeans and chinos and shorts and some smart tops hanging up. It's all a mish-mash. I can't bear it. Close door quickly!

And the last door on the right is ball gowns, dressy dresses, my wedding dress...things that need hanging up and need keeping but really take up rather a lot of space and don't get used that often. This is why I hire ball gowns!
So there you have it. The pictures are dreadful and for that I apologise. But it gives you an idea of the approach I'm using right now. I'm hoping it works, if only to help me analyse my wardrobe even further and notice where the gaps are on a visual level. Even writing this made me think about the whole jacket issue as a thing to focus on next. Or as Leeds Dad would put it 'do you wear that gilet every f*cking day?' Lovely!!

13 May 2015

My role

Had some of the NCT girls round this morning for coffee and cake and while the babies were playing 'empty the duplo out all over the floor then not touch it before moving onto another basket entirely...' we got chatting with French Mama about the frustration she is feeling towards her husband at the minute.
Amongst other smaller day-to-day rants, she mentioned the fact that he leaves all his stuff all over the house and she is mad that she now essentially has to pick up after 3 people (they have two girls) She feels that resigning from her job last Autumn means that he now sees her role as that of 'person at home who does everything therefore I no longer need to make an effort'?
We chatted about it briefly and discussed the universal fact that men are, in fact, from another planet, and what we might construe idiocy on an epic level may simply be a case of 'the laundry basket wasn't where it normally lives and I couldn't function so left my pants here on the floor...'! But after they left I thought, there are two big problems there.
One, if that's how he sees it then that's not on and they need to have a long, hard talk about their new roles and responsibilities. If he now assumes she's going to do everything within the house, and she doesn't feel that's fair, then that's going to cause problems and tension and needs to be straightened out ASAP. I think it's easy to assume that stay-at-home Mamas have all the time in the world to make meals and iron sheets and walk the dog etc...when actually some days you only manage to pee once, risk a water infection and still wind up feeding them fish fingers. Parenting full time is hard work, physically and emotionally, and should be seen as a job of equal worth in a partnership where one stays at home and another goes 'out' to work.
And two, maybe she needs to have a think about her new role in the family and make her peace with who she 'is' now. I don't see anything wrong with being the person who picks up after 3 loved ones, the person who puts away shoes and picks up dirty pants, who folds towels and packs swim bags...When Husband leaves his pants at the side of the bed, yes it is an inconvenience and a frustration, but I don't see it as disrespectful because, ultimately, I don't see my job as trivial or demeaning?? Maybe that's the difference? What I do at home is my 'job' and on the whole I love it. There are days when I long for a menial desk job, 9-5, no real mental effort required, but if push came to shove I wouldn't dream of being anywhere else but at here.
It's a big transition, and you do lose a sense of 'you' when you are Mama full-time. I hope she embraces it and comes to see it as a blessing rather than a demotion. I shall encourage her with scones!

12 May 2015

Latest purchases

Ok, so not having any cash due to having (*cough, middle-class problems, cough) two houses is not appearing to have any damn effect on my shopping habits. Ever searching for the answer to my wardrobe conundrums, this week I have turned my attention to 'day dresses' and 'shoes' since I have convinced myself that it is THIS specific lack of items in my closet that is causing me such dismay.
Disclaimer: it's not. These items will arrive, probably fit, work for a week and then I'll turn my attentions to something else pretty and superfluous. Que sera...
Anyway, this week's purchases (which will, of course, solve all issues and I will, of course, forever more have something to wear...!!) are as follows:
These were an impulse purchase this afternoon on the Dune website as they were reduced from £59 to £17. I'm hoping this is not an indication of how cheap they look/feel in real life?! I have been lusting over Kat's seven boot lane slip-on trainers forever but couldn't justify the £100 price tag. Let's hope these ones will suffice...
This tunic was bought because Kat said it was lovely, ha, and I agreed. I'm on a hunt for a dress that I can wear to pick Toddler up from nursery but then also wear out for supper with the girls one warm evening at the local pub/restaurant beer garden type place. Thought this might work? We shall see...

A 'pretty jumper' from Boden because I had a 20% discount code and was trying to inject a new colour in a fail-safe way.
And these are not yet mine, but they will be! Shoe porn from the Laura Bailey collection at LK Bennett. Am scouring the internet for a discount code but alas, to no avail. Sob!
Still haven't taken any photos of my new wardrobe set-up due to the fact that a) I keep forgetting and b) I need to buy some rattan baskets for the floor of said area where, at the moment, there lies a pile of running gear and a pile of pjs (not particularly aesthetically pleasing!) But I swear I will take them and I will post them, see what you think.
Have you made any miracle purchases this week that will change the way you dress forever?? Do let me know...

10 May 2015

Forward planning...

And so we find ourselves at Sunday night again. What is it about weekends that makes them so fleeting, so short?!
Have poured myself a large glass of wine and am sitting at the dining room table scrutinising the week ahead's planner pages. This is a necessary evil if I'm going to have half a chance at achieving half the things I'd like to this week!
The next 7 days bring:
3 nursery drop offs and 3 nursery pick ups
1 visit from niece
1 coffee morning here with the NCT babies
1 playgroup session 
A very long list of random bits and bobs I need to buy in town (random as in a watch battery, veg for a stew, bread and a new phone holder for running!!)
A visit from Nana
A trip to the space museum with our eldest godson
Massive family supper on our return 
Deep clean at old house before tenants move in next week (that'll be my job then, sigh!)
1 swimming lesson for Toddler (he only has 2 left, that's a whole other post, bloody inept swim teachers and beurocracy, I have written a letter of complaint!)
1 swimming lesson for Baby (he's a Water Baby and my God do they know what they're doing, would recommend them to anyone!)
Ooh and a photo shoot for Toddler at nursery. Will be lovely to see the difference between this week and last year's angelic, baby-faced shot!!

It's all written down, in different coloured pens, with post-it's and stickers and corresponding reminders on my phone. The menu has been planned, the uniform has been washed and dried and ironed, the runs/golf times for Husband and I have been squeezed in come hell or high water. 

Let's see how we do. Good luck everyone!

Station Eleven

Downloaded this onto my Kindle on Tuesday evening and was finished by Wednesday teatime. It is incredible. Written in a clever way from different viewpoints, in different eras, with extremely subtle clues and links running through each narrative for you to notice and ponder...really enjoyed it. Am terribly sad it's finished!
Does anyone have any amazing recommendations? I find that, not working with other adults, reading is my only real vocab-booster these days. Sad but true. If I don't read I become some stuttering, vacant loser with no opinion or ability to finish a sentence!!
Enjoy x

8 May 2015


Well that's nice. Work hard on your mum wardrobe and the following happens:
Open door to Toddler's playdate wearing dotty chinos and he looks at me oddly before demanding 'why are you wearing your pyjamas?!'
Excellent. Just excellent!

5 May 2015

Questionable taste

Having gained an extra downstairs living area when we moved we are now on the hunt for a few pieces of furniture. I've spent hours on Pinterest and design websites and have tried really hard to embrace the 'retro vintage Victorian terrace house with modern funky art work thrown in' feel that's quite popular right now and if we had bought that style of house I think it's the approach we would have taken. But we didn't. So I am fast realising that our cottage is quite traditional and as such needs tartan armchairs and cozy throws, footstools and reading lamps. 
Well. Just as I start pinning items from English Country Garden Homes (insert own middle-class cliche magazine title here) Husband gets involved. 
Do you remember a TV show called the Jetsons? It was a bit like the Flinstones but set in space? I don't know many details since we didn't have a television when I was younger (long story for another day) but I remember the general jist of it. And basically it would appear that I am married to a man who would quite like to replicate the Jetsons' living room in our cottage. I'm talking metal. Glass. Angular. Pointy. Retro. Essentially, ugly. 
It started off with a few random chairs being added to our 'watch list' on eBay then escalated into email links for my perusal. I have mainly been either ignoring said emails or nodding and smiling when he asks what I think. Then taking my top off to distract him!! But this evening it all came to a horrific head. 
I was working on the large PC we have in our dining room and he cornered me and demanded a response. Aargh. I tried diplomacy with 'I'm not entirely sure they fit with the feel of the cottage we're going for...??' but quickly panicked and wound up shrieking 'it looks like a dentist's chair, please just DELETE IT, it's VILE...'and then wincing. The shame!!
We haven't spoken in 2 hours. He may well announce he's moving to the space station tomorrow!

4 May 2015

The funk

Hmm, now this week has been hard work. I am exhausted, literally have no energy for anything and mornings stretch ahead of me like marathons I need to run just so I can lie down when Baby does. I am cross. Irritable. Short-tempered. Snappy. All the above... I constantly feel like I'm either going to cry or stamp my feet and I am really nervous. I have that angst-ridden, butterflies in my tummy, killed someone and might get found out sensation going on and yet, as far as I'm aware, I haven't done anything bad I should be angsting over??
I thought I was doing so well without my happy pills but looking in my diary and noting how long it's been since I stopped taking them I'm left wondering, is 8 weeks how long it takes for them to leave your system? Is that why I'm feeling so rough? And if so, what's the plan? I really fucking hate being broken and needing medication to function. But I hate the mum I am much, much more when I'm snappy and miserable. My babies don't deserve that. No one deserves that!
Have bought a bottle of Floradix from Holland and Barrett to see if that makes much difference to my energy levels...fingers crossed it does and then maybe I won't feel quite so inept. Other than that I really haven't planned, we shall see what next week brings I suppose. 
Hoping your week goes more smoothly than mine 😉

2 May 2015

Wardrobe updates

Ok. So when I started critiquing my wardrobe post Baby, I started with a purge of random shit I was holding onto for no good reason followed by making a detailed list of everything I already owned in order to make a precise list of what I wanted to buy this season. This worked well in keeping me focused on what style I was working on and preventing me from buying another 25 stripey tops. 
I was using two dressers as storage and had 5 deep drawers (makeup, tops, bottoms, pjs and jumpers, simple but effective!) which have come with us to the new house. Husband did a little happy dance when I told him I was sticking to the dressers and he could have the huge built-in wardrobes in the dressing room. But now I'm finding that actually, having my clothes in drawers just doesn't work for me. I think I really need my stuff on display in order to properly construct an outfit each morning. I've worked hard to ensure I have the right ingredients, but without them on display I am sticking to the old favourites every week and that kind of negates the whole purpose of this project. I don't want my wardrobe to be hard work, but I know I need a bit of a push and I think changing the way I store my clothes might help. 
So...my new mini-project is moving my jeans, tops, jumpers etc into the tall wardrobe so I can fling the door open each morning and...be inspired!
Luckily, the wardrobes are huge-huge so Husband can keep his casual clothes on the left (suits and shirts are stored in the small wardrobe/cupboard in our main bedroom for easy access at 6.30am!) and I'll just take the last one that's available on the right.
Shall endeavour to post photos now I know how to do it. First job tomorrow? Hangers!