30 June 2015

July Goals

Five personal, me-centred goals this month. Short but sweet, see if it works to keep me focussed ;-)
1. Health. Only one cup of coffee in the morning and one at lunch. No more 6-a-day kinda days and def no more before bed. I can sleep through it but I'm sure it's not restful!
2. Mind. Read 4 books. Have already bought 'Planet Parent' which is on its way but am determined to plough my way through 3 new novels too. Reading is such a luxury and one I've been missing out on, fool!
3. Mama. Work on Toddler's name-writing, phonics, number recognition and problem-solving while Baby naps. We've fallen into a dirty little habit of screen time at this time of day on the two days a week he is at home and it needs to stop, want to try and channel his attention into the basics before September. 
4. Home. Maybe take up ironing...I am acutely aware that we are half way through the year and as yet this resolution is still outstanding. Shocking. And I'm running out of things to wear that don't make me look homeless!
5. Money. Am not going to buy one damn item of clothing for the entire month. I'm not. I'm really not. I'll really try not to...!
Any halfway through the year resolutions? Anything is a good excuse for some self-improvement I think x

Over so soon??

I am genuinely in shock. I sat down to write this blog post and realised that tomorrow is July. Where on earth did that month go? That is properly scary. I only just wrote out a list of things I was excited to happen in June...time really does fly when you're having fun I guess?! That's mad.
Today has been ridiculously hot. Why is Britain so like this? We have spent weeks and weeks grumping about the slightly warm weather that only lasted 2 days running before some overcast drizzle returned and now it's BAM straight into the hottest day ever that makes you feel like you're melting!! We wound up in BFF's garden with the sprinklers on and the paddling pool full, eating ice lollies and drinking water like it was running out!! A fun afternoon, but I think I now have sun stroke. Banging headache. Ouch!
Well, as usual, it's only Tuesday and however many items we have completed (woo) we have added double that amount to the bottom of the to-do list (groan!)
The argument/disappointment about Portugal raged on and eventually threatened to become a blow-out screaming match. I had to let it go. Am still gutted about missing out but have compromised with a 5 day trip to Inverness with the boys. Toddler gets his aeroplane ride, I get to dust off my passport (am ignoring the fact that it's an internal flight and as such I could use my driving license as ID!), Nana gets some company on her trip to the Highlands and we all get a change of scenery. Have booked a hire car and am quite excited about my solo parenting trip. Hope I can manage 2 in an airport, eeshk!! So yes, as soon as I ticked 'book flights to Inverness' off my list I had to add 'boys' passports, ring hire car company to reserve car seats, check everyone has waterproof coats that fit and ring Auntie to organise a visit to cousins'. I swear, I couldn't fit in a job if I tried.
The desk issue was finally solved today in the traditional, never-fails approach of throwing money at the situation. We simply could not find anything we liked in the size we needed. Finally found this little beauty below and, while it was a smidge more than I would have liked to pay and needed courier service to get it here, we went with it. Lord knows when it will arrive but I am quite excited. Think it will finish off the dining room beautifully and my paperwork is looooong overdue a proper home (am currently writing this with the keyboard balanced on my knee...I hate this desk!!)

Have decided I need a playsuit in my wardrobe. Suddenly they are everywhere and so cute, no worrying about the wind blowing your skirt up or Toddler sticking his head where the sun don't shine...perfection! Love this one from asos but am not prepared to spend £40 on it...might spend this evening googling a discount code ;-)

Which brings us to the subject at hand...
Bearing in mind that Toddler is still up, Husband is on way home and house is a tip, my list of fun things for July will be abbreviated and short. Here goes nothing...
Night at Posh Mama's making summer fair things
Trip to Thomas Land
Collect new jogging pushchair
Summer fair at school
Toddler's graduation from nursery
Husband giving a talk at careers day at his old school!
Local agricultural show (big day around these parts!)
Hair colour being done
Meal out with playgroup Mamas
Deep clean at nursery (loooong story, ends with Posh Mama and I donning rubber gloves)
Godson's birthday. 12. Am so old. I taught him in Y1 for pete's sake!!
And on the very last weekend of the month we've got a night away (GASP) at Bath Races with Uni Girls, one of whom will be sporting her beautiful baby bump.
Can't wait. With all of that fun planned it's sure to pass as quickly as June!!
Hope you've all got lovely plans??

28 June 2015

Laundry / utility room

Ok. So after saying that I only ever have one project on the go at a time (lies, blatant lies) this weekend I had a tiny meltdown about the mess in our laundry/utility room and snapped. The space itself is essentially a narrow corridor that runs between our kitchen and the back conservatory and while it's been nice to actually HAVE a separate space for bits and bobs (all this crap was stored in the main kitchen in our old house) the novelty factor had worn off and suddenly I couldn't bear the sight of it for another second. It needed 'pinteresting'!
If you remember, I had plenty of rickety storage but it was in the form of shelves sitting on the work surface and it meant I had little to no space left for folding laundryn when it came out of the dryer. So, I did what I always do in these scenarios and emptied the entire thing like a mad bastard, sorted through everything, binned a load of stuff, put things back in their rightful places elsewhere in the house and then re-sorted things into tubs/containers/baskets as needed. Then I spent an hour trawling the ikea website making notes and finally sent poor unsuspecting Husband off out on Saturday afternoon mission with a detailed list of exactly which items I needed to make the laundry room complete. Turns out, this was an inspired idea as everyone else was out and about enjoying the sunshine so he skipped round quite happily and even said he enjoyed himself (unheard of!)

30mins of swearing and arguing later and this is what we achieved. It is literally mind-boggling how much difference such a small change can make. I have almost the entire work surface back, the shelves are no longer stacked too high and looking like they're about to collapse under their own weight AND I found 2 more pairs of scissors (scissors are like gold dust in our house, they disappear like no-one's business??) So I am a very happy lady.
Found this on pinterest and have printed a copy off for framing...something to live by!

23 June 2015

Tuesday is here

Here we have it. Ten random things that make us smile on a Tuesday that's a bit grey and a bit miserable and is supposed to be June!

1. Coffee. Always. First true love. Think I'd love mine even more if they looked this pretty every time I poured one?

2. This desk. Am desperate to replace the ikea monstrosity that is currently housing my PC, but can I find one I like in the right width? Can I feck! Am determined it is to stay in this alcove, or my search would be considerably easier...but who likes it easy, eh?!
3. Laundry storage. This week's obsession. May have to venture to the dreaded aforementioned ikea to pick up some shelves like the ones below. Basically have a tonne of storage in the laundry room/utility area at the minute BUT it stands on the worktop and therefore I lose all my folding space. Sad times. Need to get some wall-mounted shelves and lift that crap up a bit!!

4. Mint Velvet boots. Because, well, just look at them! I appreciate that it's the end of June and we should all be swanning about in flip flops, but I really don't want hypothermia and we must be realistic. Am moving on to Autumn!

5. These felt tips have been in my amazon basket for a few months now, am pressing 'buy' this morning. Ingenious idea, must be done.
 6. The Shropshire Business Awards are being held this Friday night and Godfather's company is shortlisted for foreign export. Another reason to get dressed up and head out on the tiles? Thanks very much! (PS we all decided to go knee length for this one so I'm sorted, ball gown angst averted!)

7. And this is the new restaurant in town where we shall all be eating on Saturday night due to the ill-fated school barndance being cancelled. Looking forward to that!

8. All 3 of us have now caught Husband's sore throat and snotty nose, and I am also suffering with hayfever. Excellent. Baby has been up coughing at 2am every night for a week (joys) and then they spend their days wandering around with green slugs hanging out of their nostrils. It's all glamour being a Mama! Thanks Christ for tissues.
9. Was a bit late to the Amy Schumer craze (as ever, be it shoes or coats or comedy, I'm a fucking season behind everyone else, kills me!) But anyway, funniest thing I've watched in a long time. You can access clips on youtube, hilarious!

10. And am turning my attention to the master bedroom. Once I've sorted the laundry room obviously. I would never ever have two big projects on the go at the same time!! I've gone ahead and bought charcoal bedsheets (white bedspreads, while delightful, don't really 'go' with black labradors?!) so dark grey walls are probably not possible but this is the kind of feel I'm after. Husband will, of course, take one look at it and declare it a no-go, but then when has that ever stopped me/been taken into account/been listened to? No rush though, am still on the 'pinning' stage of this one.

And there we have it. 10 random things that make me smile day-to-day, are coming up this week or that are causing me to do the mental-Mama-grin that comes when you are so sick to death of wiping snot. You know the one, smile manically or lie down and weep? Yeah, that one!

22 June 2015

My boy

...is going through an independent phase which is lasting, you know, going on 2 years. He isn't much bothered by schmooshes, snuggling on the sofa, hugs and kisses hello (or goodbye!) The kid broke his arm and said nothing for over an hour for pete's sake!! But today he pootled round the corner in the snug, sidled up to me, wrapped his little arms around my neck and nuzzled me like a baby kitten. My heart almost burst right open ❤️
He then carried on his general direction of travel and jumped over the coffee table like 'Spiderman'. Boys!

17 June 2015

Dreadful news

Shoes of love arrived in a 6.5. They were so small I was actually wincing as I put the first one on...but I persevered and hobbled around the living room for a good, ooh I don't know, 2 minutes before finally accepting that they were too small, painfully and agonisingly too small. Did a little cry as I put them back in the box and printed off the returns label...
Am hoping they come up teeny tiny, as usually a 6.5 is ok on me. So have gone ahead and ordered the 8 (only other size available) in the eternal hope that they are teeny tiny too and therefore fit like a dream.
Here's to tomorrow and my new faboosh dream-shoes arriving and fitting!
Expect tears if they don't!!
In other news, Fit Gardener is here tomorrow trimming the conifers so that the garden gets some sunlight and stops being quite so boggy in places. Will attempt to surreptitiously photograph him in action and post the pics, so pretty!

15 June 2015


Two most amazing things have just happened.
Do you remember these little beauties?
(don't ask me why they're so small here??)
I have lusted over them for 2 months but couldn't justify the £195 price tag (not when you've got two gorgeous boys to shop for, two houses to run, a calendar full of social events that need funding...plus the fact that £200 seems a bit steep for shoes that will most likely only ever get worn to the playbarn and/or the park?!)
Well, there I was, pootling about the world wide web, trying to find some sandals I like and I remembered them...went to have another little lust over them and BAM they've only gone into the 50% off sale online!!! LKBennett themselves were sold out, cue a tiny cry, a tiny grumble at myself for not monitoring them more closely, a small kick of myself at being such a doofus AND THEN I realised they sell LKBennett shoes in Selfridges, and lo, there they were, waiting for me to buy. Hazzah!! Am so happy!!
The other good news is that this dress arrived this morning:
and it fits!! Only £70 which is a total bargain when you think House of Fraser's selection started at £120 (and they were the plain, black offerings) Thank you very much asos.com. So now, I can go to the ball on Saturday and don't have to spend all week grumping about wearing an old frock. Double woo!
Am off to make myself a fourth coffee to celebrate my successful day. Baby and I have been rather busy racing around this morning so more caffeine is def in order. We needed to bank over £3k from the luncheon yesterday so I made him sit on it during the nursery run for added security! We also always have tonnes to do around the house on a Monday (after Toddler and Husband have trashed the joint over the weekend!) so that's kept us nice and busy for a few hours. The laundry is now half done, the conservatory is almost finished, bookshelves that were moved at the weekend are now re-filled and the beds have been changed. Oh yes, and we emptied the bins (this one kinda snuck past me and all of a sudden bins were overflowing everywhere, damn I miss the cleaner!)
I hear movement upstairs which means naptime is over. Happy Monday everyone, hope yours is as productive as mine!

13 June 2015

Busy little bee

Today has been:
Up with boys at 7am, dressed, breakfast, run through morning's suggested activities with Husband (to avoid 3hrs of screen time!) and emptied the large bookshelf (it's going upstairs tomorrow) Quickly grabbed a bowl of cereal then ran out the door with an armful of Indian scarves to drape over things!
Set up marquee for the luncheon (moving tables, chairs, decorating, sticking bar fridges, laying out raffle and auction prizes, draping scarves!, finalising seating plan...)
Home for lunch
Trip to ikea when Baby woke. Turns out the ikea sale started yesterday and we were the only people in the known world who weren't aware. Needless, we battled our way through the crowds and still managed to get 2 things off the list and only 1 extra which is a small miracle in ikea!! Boys were treated to hotdogs and ice creams for being so well behaved and patient :-)
Home, bubble bath, Husband put together my new bedside table (have been without one for 5 months, what are the chances I get through the night without rolling over and whacking my head off it?!) then the boys had a small snack for supper and were tucked in for the night. 
Husband raced out to collect his new golf net and on the way home grabbed a dirty curry. Nom. 
Watched Avengers. Ate curry. Drank second glass of wine! Finished seating plan for tomorrow. Am now slightly anxious seating plan is wrong due to levels of tipsy, but not anxious enough to check it. Will probably wake at 1am and have to do it then. Groan!
Have pootled round, picked up the 42 random items lying in the wrong place and put them back where they rightfully belong, tidied the playroom (car in the musical instruments box, megablok in the food box, it was CHAOS in there!!) and am finally sitting down. It's 10.10pm. That's early for me!! May celebrate with a third glass...??

12 June 2015

Shock and amazement

Went up to town yesterday in the hopes that I might find a ball dress for next Saturday. Didn't, of course, but DID venture into somewhere I never go and was pleasantly surprised.
As you know, it's the annual Cancer Research luncheon here on Sunday and this year we have a slight indian theme going on. I have a knee length navy lace dress and some fab wedges that are suitable, but was after some little accessories and a scarf maybe to bollywood it up a bit. We'd already tried Monsoon and Accessorize to no avail, then BFF suggested Primark.
Normally the place brings me out in a rash, there's stuff all over the floor and I find that even when stuff IS hung up properly, there's almost too much of it to choose from? She saw me visibly recoil but assured me that it would be fun!! and that we'd leave if the hives started to appear.
And we did quite well. Not only did we pick up two lots of bracelets, a necklace, a hand cuff and a scarf but it only cost £14. Insane!
Here's what I bought

Think they'll add a little touch of colour to my otherwise navy ensemble but also give it an indian feel?? Am so looking forward to it, I have a table full of girls to sit and drink with, no children, the weather is meant to be dry but warm-ish and it's all for an amazing cause that is so important to our family. Can't wait!

11 June 2015


Ooh exciting, Husband has a new BBQ. After 2 whole months of him lusting over it online and in store but refusing to buy it for himself, I managed to find it online for 25% off and just went right ahead and ordered it (this is pretty much how we handle all decisions in life, he's still standing around pondering and I'm behind him jumping in/eating it already/trying it on/hanging it on the wall etc...)
It arrived last week sometime (much to his confusion, bless!) and has been sitting next to the patio furniture, all shiny and new since. Toddler is beside himself with glee and skips home every damn day wondering if today will be the day Daddy will do a BBQ for tea. So far, it's not been used as Husband hasn't made it home before 9pm, which is a tad late for small children to be awake, let alone eating sausages outside, in my humble opinion.
But today, today my friends, I have had the text. Husband is finishing work early, we are to hit up Waitrose after the nursery pick-up and grab armfuls of meat, the BBQ is on!!
(Please don't let the sun go in until after 7pm!!)

9 June 2015

Yet another return

God, sometimes you really wonder why you bother trying new things. It's like when you go out for dinner with girlfriends (or with anyone for that matter?!) You peruse the menu, are so tempted by a new and exotic sounding meal choice, but actually, when it comes to it and the waiter is standing there, pencil poised, you wind up thinking 'I'm dressed up, out of the house and don't have to prepare a meal, do I want to risk ordering something shit?' 8 times out of 10 I plump for an old dependable, a firm favourite, something I know and love...who wants to WASTE a good meal out when you don't go for them that often?
It appears it's the same with clothes. I'm trying so hard to branch out, try something different, purchase something a little out of the norm for my boring style...sometimes it's working but recently, jeez, not so much.
Both ball gowns went flying back to asos within 2 hours of arriving (one didn't fit me right and one looked so cheap I couldn't bring myself to wear it!) and then today a parcel from River Island arrived and yuck, all going straight back. Am in town again on Thursday looking for ball gowns with BFF so I can drop it back to store, saving the returns cost, but man it's so depressing when these things occur. Not for the bank balance obviously, bank balance does extremely well out of it. But I wind up wondering why I bother, that I'm boring, that I'll never get my style back ever again, that I should just eat cake and wear a duvet cover with arm holes...
Bit dramatic but accurate.
The only damn thing I kept out of the River Island parcel was this fabulous clutch bag that made my heart do that little flutter-ping thing when I looked at it.
No clue when I'll use it, but I don't have one already and am always looking for an alternative to my trusty black clutch that I've had for, ooh, 15 year, so I don't feel remotely guilty.
Am going to spend my evening making a list of stores to go into on Thursday. Am determined to find this bloody ball gown, if I have to I'll wear the same one to both events (different crowds apart from BFF and Husband so a small, forgiveable sin) and I only have 2.5hours to manage it once I've juggled childcare and Baby's nap.
Wish me luck!

8 June 2015

A brand new week

Here we go, folks, Monday again. So much to do and so little energy. The alarm went off this morning and I genuinely could not remember what day it was, what we had planned, whether or not it was a hair-washing morning (it wasn't, score!) and it felt like I had gone to bed a mere 10 mins earlier. Hard work.
I managed to get everyone fed, washed and dressed and out the door by 8.40am and after to-ing and fro-ing about whether or not we'd walk today (pros: it's hot and sunny, cons: I really needed to run some errands after nursery and wasn't sure whether they were feasible on foot) we decided to drive. Good job really considering Toddler had a meltdown on the front door step about his juice bottle not fitting in his backpack correctly which made us late. His little face was all red and snotty, not like him at all to be so emotional over something so small.
He then repeated the same on the nursery driveway because he had caught sight of some friends, wanted to run after them but couldn't because he was wearing his backpack and it was slowing him down. Cue lots of screaming and angry tears. Then when it was time for me to leave him he was clingy and weepy and generally not quite right...am awaiting a phonecall from them to collect him early if I'm honest. After yesterday's debacle with Baby (more on that in a moment) I wouldn't be at all surprised if he's not feeling 100%. We shall see...
Baby and I then raced to Waitrose, walked back into town to drop off our wine hamper donation for the Cancer Research luncheon which is this Sunday (can not wait for some girl time!!) and paid some cheques into the bank. I've decided we'll walk back to collect Toddler this afternoon and have packed some old bread to feed the ducks on the way home and bought him a tractor biscuit to cheer him up. Isn't it funny? They misbehave and are so piggin' rude, then you spend all day feeling like you handled the whole situation badly and that you've left your first-born at nursery in tears like a she-devil. Bet he's absolutely fine and has forgotten the whole incident. Sigh!
Baby has spent a rather long time this morning pootling around me while I sit at the computer ringing marquee insurance companies, bless his heart, and is currently having a nap while I quickly post this, sort out some paperwork for Husband's business, set up a new direct debit for nPower (which has been done, and cancelled??, three times now, apparently they don't really WANT paying??) and do some frantic ball gown shopping online. Had 2 beauties from asos delivered this morning. Both look like shit. So that's helpful. Add 'return ball gowns' to the list of things to achieve today!
Am off out for a run this evening with Lawyer Mama and Yummy Mummy. Was meant to be doing the Race for Life yesterday and was en route to Nana's house to collect her when Baby turned to me in the car and projectile vomited all over himself, his shoes, the car seat, me... It was incredible. No warning signs, no tears, just sudden instantaneous puke everywhere. We had to pull over in a layby on the A5 and strip him naked and try to clean his carseat with baby wipes. Toddler found the whole thing fascinating and Husband spent the majority of the time commenting on how lucky I was that he wasn't following suit and throwing up too. I had someone's else's puke in my hair at this point so ignored him. Needless to say we had to turn around and drive straight home again, and the Race for Life went ahead without me. Nana and Auntie did it in a good time so are very proud of themselves, and I'm off out tonight to run off some stress instead!
Right, am off to parcel up these horrific gowns for returning in the post, find a stamp for the V5 ceritificate (apparently you have to let the government know that your car has moved home...who knew?!) and empty the drier. And probably make another coffee. Because it's Monday. And it's still 5.5hours until my children go to bed!!

4 June 2015

An update of sorts

OK so it's Thursday, the heatwave has arrived and here's where we stand on the latest news and gossip:

Still have no ball gown.

Took Leeds Dad to pick up his new car and when he disappeared on a test drive it occurred to me that I was sitting in a remote location, with no phone signal, in the drizzling rain, with 2 small boys, desperately needed a wee and that the mechanic in the truck next to us was wearing black gloves and looked suspiciously like someone I'd seen on Criminal Minds recently. So that was a delightfully stress-free morning out...

The patio furniture is divine and it is FINALLY hot enough to use it, woo!

Proposed trip to visit to Auntie and Niece in Liverpool was compromised into a trip to Chester Zoo (met in the middle) which was ideal. Perfect weather, boys had a blast, Nana met us there for icecream...winner!

School PLA meeting was painful as ever, can not WAIT for that ridiculous little man to retire already. September can not come soon enough.

And rocket lollies are officially the lolly of 2015. As decreed by Toddler. Who asked for one for breakfast!!

Enjoy the rays x

2 June 2015

Boys on wheels

In the space of 48hrs Baby has mastered the tricycle (so damn cute!) and Toddler has finally (we're talking, he had the blasted thing in August, hello June!!) built up the confidence to let Husband let go of his hood when cycling his big-boy bike.
Am such a proud Mama!! And now such a frantic, out-of-breath Mama. My God, they're fast when they get going, I don't remember feeling this way when Toddler got competent on his feet, but I suppose I was only running after 1 Baby then...now I'm constantly trying to watch 2??

In other news, the new light fitting in the dining room (big white dome) looks awesome and I am very pleased with our choice. But it buzzes. I do not know why it buzzes. But buzzes it does. And it is driving me INSANE! So that's another job that got ticked off the list and is swiftly added to the bottom again...

Today is garden furniture day. The fact that it is currently pouring it down outside has not escaped me.

And considering I have a black tie event in 10 days and desperately need to be shopping for a ball gown, last night online I purchased a boxy patterned jacket which I'm 89% confident I will either return or keep and never ever wear, 2 vest top/camis that may well make me look heavily pregnant, skinny jeans, a clutch bag and 2 boring tshirt bras. Nailed it!

Am off to collect Leeds Dad from nursery to go and collect his new wheels...and on that note we have come full circle and I can sign off feeling terribly smug, ha!