30 September 2016

On girlfriends and drama

For newcomers to the blog, I am a mother, a wife, an adult woman who lives in the burbs. Besides my Husband and my boys, my family is made up of incredible women who I have 'collected' over the years. They genuinely mean the world to me. I think I treat them kindly, I try to be honest and dependable and am incredibly loyal. I don't really engage in drama and I think long and hard about what to say when girlfriends turn to me for advice; I try to consider the weight of my words. I really do work hard on my female relationships and I value them more than I could explain on here.

I also finished high school a loooooong time ago and as such don't really deal with gossip and mood swings on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, at the moment it would appear that there are some people in my life who are convinced we are all still teenagers, consumed with pointless drama and determined to make life as awkward and miserable as possible, all the while taking no responsibility for their own actions. Giving the cold-shoulder, making snotty comments just out of earshot, just generally being mean and unkind for no real reason. For the most part, I am ignoring them and hoping they turn their ridiculous negative attentions to something else (or just cheer the fuck up?!) but part of me is frustrated, angry and beginning to get upset. 

In times like these I am reminded of the inherent goodness of girlfriends. Those who remind you to be positive in a sea of pessimism, those who encourage you to find the light in a dark place, those who text to say 'you are loved' when you're feeling criticised, those who turn up with gin when you need a night of ranting! I hope that I'm half as good a friend as the women who surround me! 

The ever-giving Pinterest provided me with some positive reminders about drama and the vital skill of self-preservation...

... don't need the energy draw if it happens too often.  Only have so much energy:

"Watch out for the joy stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, fault finding and a negative judge mental attitude":

And those, my sweets, are the ones to avoid.:

Positive // what you give will eventually come back to you // good people // my circle:

Edit your life frequently:

"Negative people gravitate towards people who give them a reaction. This gives them a little light in the darkness of their angry, lonely world":

Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back. #quotes:

Every woman should have friends like this! I'm so blessed to have mine!:

I am long overdue a life-edit and I think the time has come. 
There will be no drama and no hurtful words but something has to be done. 
The mood-hoovers can move on, they are not welcome here any longer.

29 September 2016

QUICK! Your hair needs to read this post!

Posh Mama has done it again. Buy these products, quickly, my hair feels like Kate Middleton's looks!!

Image result for toni and guy cleanse shampoo

Start with this baby, it strips your hair of any residue that's making it feel gunky and claggy (scientific words)

Then I use these...

Image result for toni and guy shampoo and conditioner normal

and my hair can be combed (with my new Wet Brush Pro!) with no knots at all. Incredible.

All available in Asda and last week they were on offer. You are most welcome ;-)

28 September 2016

What's up Wednesday?!

Haven't done one of these in a while (almost a year, I just checked!) and since I'm still coughing like a mad thing and don't have much mental energy going spare, I figured it was the perfect prompt for this week's Wednesday post...

Here goes...


Nothing exciting actually but I am beginning to think that the slow cooker may be brought out of storage this weekend. The weather has gone colder and I feel a stew coming on...

Boy's Kindergarten teacher made cinnamon buns this week and that started something of a trend over here, thank goodness it's Autumn because I can literally feel myself expanding as the days go by. Damn you, cinnamon goodness!!


about life before school. Sigh. Boy is much happier this week, but we have had a rocky start to Year 1 and combined with Toddler starting nursery, this Mama is missing the carefree days of babies at home with no real schedules other than eat, poop, sleep! It doesn't help that Wednesday is swimming day so we have to make two trips to the pool. Bring on gin o'clock!

Aahh lazy mornings, how I miss thee!


the vocabulary leap Toddler has just been through. His sentences are really coming together in the cutest little voice EVER. Melts me!

We're also big fans of Autumn over here, bring on the scarves and the ankle boots.

We've been...

just settling into our new nursery/school routine and trying to enjoy some serious downtime at the weekends.

Last weekend we took the boys for a romp around Attingham Park...there is something so delicious about unpacking the welly boots and fleecy jumpers :-)

We have been exploring Snapchat recently too...we are total novices but it's kinda fun??


nothing?? Is that tempting fate??

Working on...

our rental house and what on earth we're going to do with it. A decision needs to be made, rarrh.

Excited about... 

Husband running the Great Birmingham Run next month. Also VERY excited about our overnight trip away that I've booked as a surprise, we are in desperate need of some time away as a couple. Can't wait. 

Image result for malmaison birmingham 
This bed is calling my name!


Well, I ploughed my way through Gilmore girls and Stranger Things and am now a bit lost... 

Image result for elin hilderbrand winter storms

Am also waiting for Elin Hilderbrand's latest installment of the Winter Street trilogy, Winter Storms, hurry up November. Any recommendations for TV or books welcome!!

Listening to...

the blasted iPod that still throws Christmas songs in every so often. I've decided that, since it's only 90 days until next Christmas, I may as well leave them on there now. Sigh.


my new navy culottes from M&S. Serious trouser love. It's quite ridiculous how much I adore them. This photo is dire, mind.

Doing this weekend...

precisely nothing. And I could not be more excited about it. We may wrap up warm and go find some conkers, we may ride our bikes, we may just sit on our bottoms and watch Disney films for 48 hours. This Mama needs some serious TLC to get over this lurgy... and this bottle of gin is going to be a BIG part of it!

And that's my What's Up Wednesday for this year ;-)

Please leave me some book/TV boxsets recommendations in the comments below and I shall see you on Friday xx

26 September 2016


Today's post isn't really worth reading, it was hardly worth writing...

I have a cold. It's not a normal cold. It's almost as bad as the ones Husband gets when hes's sick. I am running purely on coffee (that I can't taste??) and Sudafed. All bow down to the magic of Sudafed.

Image result for sudafed

So yeah, I have nothing to say. Poor Toddler is watching a LOT of Paw Patrol while I hide under a duvet trying not to shiver. I shall be back on Wednesday, hopefully a hell of a lot better. If you have any tips then please leave them in the comments below, am desperate!! 

23 September 2016

Active Wear

As ever, I'm so late to the party it hurts but just discovered this on YouTube. It took me almost a full minute of bouncing along before I clocked it wasn't actually a Nike advert...sigh!

Enjoy :-)

Have an awesome weekend, friends. We have nothing on apart from a little rugby session and visiting Posh Mama in her brand new barn conversion. FINALLY!! 

I may wear my Active Wear all weekend long...!

21 September 2016


Saw this earlier and thought 'how wise'. I like it. I am going to keep it.

And I am having this embroidered onto a cushion for God-daughter's birthday gift. Much more succinct but just as wise.

20 September 2016

A day late...

Apologies. I've been doing so well with my MWF blog posts...this Monday ran away with me.

9 Things Every Parent With an Anxious Child Should Try:

Boy is not a happy bunny. He's not miserable, but he sure as hell ain't the kid I know and love. A little bit of sparkle has gone and it's making me cross and sad and ranty! We've had tears most mornings and reluctance to attend clubs... After a lot of gentle quizzing, conversations with his teacher and a meeting with the head, it would appear that it's a combination of the Year 1 curriculum, a ridiculous decision made by an unqualified member of staff and a stellar lack of communication. However, my meeting yesterday felt quite productive and positive and we have agreed to touch base again next Friday...we shall see what, if any, changes have been made. This Mama is NOT having her child in tears sitting against a wall at playtime. Rarrh!

In other news, my massive M&S order was fun while it lasted but 66% is being returned. The navy culottes are great, the leopard heels are so so comfy...and the rest stinks. The dress is too big, the jumper is too short, the blouse is too tight and the grey high-tops which I adore look like boats in my size. Boo! Oh well, Husband will be delighted.

THESE are awesome!

Also, we have a new favourite venue to visit if you're in Shrewsbury. On Sunday we drove over to see Boy's Kindergarten teacher, walked to the splash park and then discovered The Pour House over the Welsh Bridge. It is so much fun. Kid-friendly and the biggest milkshakes you've ever seen...

Image result for pour house shrewsbury
Why yes, I DID order one of these and why yes, it was life-changing!! Run, don't walk!!

What else is new? Niece turned 2 and had a wonderful party. It was 40mins NORTH of her house in Liverpool, which meant a 4 hour round trip for a 2 hour party. But I'm not saying a word...

These guys met a Burmese Python called 'Custard'!!

Then they spent a happy half hour crashing tractors!!

And yesterday, we stopped off at BFF's house for a quick coffee and Toddler built Big Dog a new bed. With BFF's new, rather expensive cushions. So that's nice.

Back on Wednesday xx

16 September 2016

Tears and retail therapy

Well. Year 1 is not going as well as hoped, and Toddler is apparently so scared of nursery he can't function. Fuck!

Thursday morning found me crouched on the floor in the Y1 cloakroom with Boy clinging to my neck sobbing and Toddler sitting on my knee wailing. They are both tired, both feeling a bit sensitive and both struggling. It was shit all round. Y1 teacher came to help and between us we managed to calm Boy down and send him into class sniffing but smiling and I then spent 15mins playing in nursery trying to convince Toddler that he would have a lovely, lovely time with his friends and that noone was trying to kill him. By 9.30am I needed a gin and tonic so badly I was avoiding the kitchen and all temptation :-(

So, after a good cry into the dog and a rant at Husband over the phone, I did what all sensible people do whenever there's an emotional crisis. I shopped online.

Marks and Spencer have had such a rough patch over the last, ooh, forever, but things seem to be really on the up over there. Their latest collection is pretty incredible. You still need to search through the nude coloured granny pants and the nautical old-lady tshirts, but hidden in there are some pretty cool things. Here's what I've ordered...

Granted, these will probably look shit on me, but culottes are everywhere right now and they LOOK SO COOL! I want! They wouldn't drag in puddles...there's a reason they're awesome right there!

Again, may not like them on (what trousers do you wear them with??) but I love them.

Big boobs and ruffles? Probably not the way to go...we'll see!

(PS this is making me quite melancholy, I can see myself returning it all now, bugger!)

Because, well, just look at them! Am thinking I could wear them in Birmingham for our weekend away next month?

I never have anything to wear when we go out for dinner. I have everyday skinny jeans and ball gowns, no middle ground, none. This looked like a potential dinner blouse, so I threw it in the basket to try on?

I also ordered a deep purple coloured fit and flare dress that was £59 and for the life of me I can't find it online anymore? Random.

Anyway, I threw it all into my virtual basket, used the code SEPT16A27 for 20% off (thank you muchly @meandmywardrobe) and clicked 'buy'!! I can pick it all up in store on Sunday. Who knows if any of it will work, but I felt better for doing it. Shallow but effective!

Ironically, I have to go into M&S later on today for a bra fitting appointment. I'm trying to convince myself that my existing bras have shrunk in the wash but let's face it, I have put on weight and I just don't really enjoy the whole 4-boob look :-(

Off out tonight with Posh Mama and Leeds Dad's wife, we are going to drown our sorrows about small children being sad and house moves falling through AGAIN, grr. Tomorrow is Niece's second birthday so I shall try to limit the amount of gin consumed, noone really needs a hangover when they've got to get to Liverpool by 10am. Sigh. 

Have a great weekend, and nip into M&S if you get the chance!!

14 September 2016

Namaste...and all things yogary

Image result for yoga

Tonight after school, Boy is headed to Prep&Play for half an hour while the Y1 parents have their first meeting with his new teacher. All I could think as I sent the booking email to the office was 'I'm so glad he doesn't have to do this every day, I'm so lucky I get to pick him up when the bell rings and bring him straight home.' Last week, Posh Mama and I were trying to organise this year's swimming lessons and the simple fact was, if we swam on any day other than a Wednesday when she's off work she wasn't going to get to see her own daughter swim. I could have chosen any damn day I like...

I guess this week I was reminded of the fact that I am an extremely lucky Mama. I'm not saying that I shouldn't grumble or moan and feel emotional when my babies are away from me, my feelings are just as valid as any other mother's, but I think sometimes it is good to remember that there is always someone out there who would give anything for what you've got.

So along with my Monday positivity, I have decided to TRY and embrace my new found mornings of freedom. Am trying to look at those long 9 hours as a blessing, an incredibly valuable commodity that I am lucky to get. Because I am lucky. I don't have to return to work, I don't have to put my children into care full time and I don't even have to keep them at home with me until they're 3 because I can afford to pay for nursery. I have the luxury of being able to choose, and Toddler attending nursery for two mornings a week is the choice I have made.

So this Mama has started yoga classes. Faced with two empty mornings a week, and still having little to no energy in the evenings with which to combat my 8pm Pilates classes, I have swopped one of them to a daytime Yoga class at the little health studio that's just opened up in town. Tuesdays at 10.30am will now find me bending and stretching in whole new ways...man, yoga is hard work! Who knew? I always thought yoga was the gentler, more relaxed, chilled out sister to Pilates. But it would appear not. I like it, though. The teacher is just the right amount of oddball, any more talk of the moon wreaking havoc and I'd have snorted and made my excuses, but she's just right.

It's not easy dropping them both off in a morning and Toddler isn't yet convinced it's the way forward. I suspect it will take some time to adjust. I hate coming in from the school run and hearing the silence. I hate walking around town without a pushchair or a little one to chat to (I constantly feel on edge, worried I look like I'm loitering or 'casing the joint' for later??) But Yoga yesterday morning was lovely. I had that amazing buzz you get from doing something selfish yet active and it meant that I had the whole evening to tidy, clean, watch Gilmore girls, chat to Husband... Toddler starting nursery means I have effectively regained 'adult-time', and that can only be a good thing for a Mama who openly admits that she is shit at prioritising her marriage (despite her best efforts!)

So yes, positive thinking. Whenever I have a wobble this week, I am going to count my blessings!

12 September 2016

The blues? NO!!

It's Sunday afternoon and I sat down to write this post and immediately googled 'Monday blues'. Then I stopped, slapped myself and tried a more positive approach. Yes, Mondays mean work and school and chores and errands and routines and demands...but they are unavoidable and must be faced head on. They will not control us OR our moods!!

So here's the new image...

Image result for monday positive

This Monday involves the washing machine repair man returning with some brushes (don't ask, I didn't even know washing machines HAD brushes) and a trip to Next to collect some belts I ordered last week and promptly forgot all about. I finally decided that 33 is no age to be walking around hoiking up my trousers every 5 minutes, it has to stop, so I've ordered some belts. I know right, durrh?! How has it taken me 33 years to realise that all I needed was a belt. Again, don't ask!

Image result for next pony belt

Image result for next womens tan belt

If I don't go tomorrow they will return them to the warehouse whilst simultaneously charging me for the privilege, or some such nonsense...who knows? Anyway, as soon as the washing machine is fixed, Toddler and I are off to the shops.  

We may well look for these while we're out...

Image result for new look leopard print trainer

Leopard print trainers from New Look

Heels from M&S

Also feel the need for some new baggy jeans, some white tshirts (that aren't see through, funnily enough?!) and a little black dress for our dirty weekend away next month (dirty as in 'look how dirty we are because we haven't even had time to shower all weekend after ALL THE SLEEPING!!')

Obviously I have to fit all this into the tiny window of time between the washing machine man finishing up here and Toddler having a pink fit because he's strapped into a pushchair and...well, doesn't want to be, really. We'll see how I get on.

Let's face Monday head on, smash the crap out of it and celebrate with gin at 7pm. Go forth and be awesome, friends!!

9 September 2016

The weekend is coming...

...and we are THRILLED!

2 days of school down, 30 to go before half term holidays. Boy has skipped in to his new class both mornings without a backwards glance. Toddler wasn't overly impressed with us leaving him at nursery but soon settled and when I collected him at lunchtime told me that he had had a nice time so we shall what next week brings!

The weekend brings with it a meal out with the NCT girls at a new brasserie, a family day out to celebrate my Dad's birthday and Boy's rubbly training on Sunday morning. We need to take him along early this week to buy his new kit and have his team photograph taken. Fun!

Here he is last Sunday at his first session. 60 mins of pure glee. And only one person called him a girl, so that's pretty good going ;-)

Have an awesome weekend with loved ones, hope you all have great plans.

7 September 2016

Last night of summer

I am writing this with a tear in my eye. This appears to be my 'thing', sitting down and crying about big events once I've tucked the boys into bed, kissed their sleepy foreheads and turned out the light. Every birthday finds me weeping into wrapping paper, every first day at school gives me an upset tummy and a headache from sobbing into little grey socks. It is quite ridiculous, Husband finds it all very bemusing, but I simply can't help it. It's like the opening bars of the wedding march sending me into audible sobs, out of my control.

Today was the last day of our long summer holidays and oh, how my heart is breaking. Toddler had his first swimming lesson this morning and then we spent the afternoon with BFF and her two youngest, just chilling out and playing, savouring the last few precious hours of downtime. Tomorrow we will leave the house at 8.10am, drop Boy at the year one classroom door and then walk around the corner to introduce Toddler to the world of nursery. I shall be quite alone between the hours of 8.30 and 1pm.

I have plans with BFF for tomorrow morning to take my mind off it all, and the logical part of my brain is quite excited about having a morning all to myself twice a week. Daytime exercise classes, hands-free grocery shopping, easy peasy dog walks without any moaning or bloody obligatory scooters that get abandoned 10m down the road? Part of me can't wait. Part of me is heartbroken that my babies are growing up far too fast and will be spending time away from me. And the last little part of me is worried I shall feel a bit...redundant and a bit of a slacker? Should I be headed to work two mornings a week if I don't have Toddler at home? Is it lazy of me to relish these 9 hours of daytime freedom while Husband is at the office, working hard to support us all?

I know all this is rubbish. And a large part of me doesn't question it at all. Because, who would drop off my babies and pick them up again? And where exactly would I get a job for a mere 9 hours a week which I only want until we (hopefully) fall pregnant with another child? Also, Husband has never once suggested I return to work and I'm fairly confident he might have mentioned it if it felt it were necessary. Not to mention the fact that I've bloody earned these 9 hours to myself, I've paid for them in blood, sweat and tears, they're MINE!

It's just a small niggle that keeps raising its ugly head when I'm feeling emotional or tired or under scrutiny. I blame the so-called friend who cornered me at the park when Boy was 10 months old and sneered 'Come on now, Mama, when are you going to go back to work already?' like I was a child playing house who needed to stop being so selfish and silly. I dismissed her out of hand, and have hardly spoken to her since, but I guess she hit my Achilles heel. Every so often I can hear her questioning my decision, challenging my choice...

I suppose the main difference is that when Boy started nursery I was already 6 months pregnant with Toddler and this time, I am not. Last time it made sense for me to be at home. This time, to outsiders I am a mother without children at home (albeit for only two mornings a week!) Again, this is a ridiculous train of thought as a) I live in an area where plenty of mothers with school-aged children don't routinely return to work and b) I don't really care what randoms think of my decisions? Is it a personal critique? Maybe I am judging myself too harshly, questioning my role at home during this transition period?

Mostly though, it's just the separation. The knowledge that my beloved babies are with someone else tomorrow, for the majority of their day. It's a bit shit! I enjoy their company and I shall simply be a bit lonely without them puttering around about me.

Here's hoping they have an amazing day and have loads to tell me at collection time. And that they've missed me so much in return that they hug me tightly and refuse to go back ;-)

Now, where is the hot coffee and my iPad? I have one season of Gilmore girls left and it's calling my name...

5 September 2016

Monday blues

Last Monday of the big holidays. Last lazy start to the week for a while. Boo! 

But, also the last day my cleaner will come at 8.30am meaning I have to rush around like a lunatic finding a bra before she arrives. So that's nice!

No time to write anything meaningful or funny this morning as I only have 3 days left with my babies before school starts back, so I shall leave you with this proud achievement...

(Disclaimer: I helped with some of the sounds!)

My baby is going into Year 1. I think he's ready but I hope she's kind.

Am off to spend the day with my loves. And hopefully not shout ;-)

Have a great Monday xx

2 September 2016

Hello Autumn!!

September. Already?! Crazy times.

We are deep in back-to-school prep over here in the shire as we only have six days left together before Boy starts Year 1 and Toddler starts nursery two mornings a week. The uniforms have been washed, named and put into drawers, we have spent more money than we'd like to mention on new shoes, hair cuts have been booked into the diary...and I'm just trying to soak up as much of them as I can before next Thursday.

With regards school prep, I must quickly tell you about two products that we use every time and love.


We ordered a whole new set of these buttons for Toddler's nursery uniform from Easy2Name. They are so easy to attach and literally NEVER come off. You can re-use them again and again.

Blue starter vinyl labels for kids with cat 520 057

And these name labels are the best I've found for durability. Lots of fun colours and pictures to choose from. Great!

Here's a little peek into our August life lately...

Birthday frolics!!

An invasion at the castle...

Harvesting the reddest tomatoes. They didn't make it to the kitchen!

Bank holiday happiness. My new Oliver Bonas hooks are UP!

Because sitting ON your garden chair to eat your dinner would be too safe, no?

I sometimes wonder if it's time to remove the bed guard...then I find him like this and think 'possibly not!'

Fun at the farm. The mother next to us was telling her children not to touch the animals incase they bite. Then Boy picked up a massive handful of hay and fed the calf. I avoided her gaze!

Ahhhh car naps, how I've missed them ;-)

Play shoes, school shoes, rugby boots... my purse is officially empty. 
(PS those are technically 'girl' trainers on the left which the woman in Clarks pointed out to my son as he was beaming and asking for them. She got a rant. He got the trainers he liked. Grr!)

First session starts on Sunday. He is beyond excited and yet, he has no clue what 'rubbly' even is? I wonder how he'll get on?

And this photo isn't so much 'life lately' as 'life every damn day at our place'. Seriously. The kids are always naked!

So there you have it. It's been such a fun month, birthday months are always happy I find, but August has been really awesome. Looking forward to a nice, quiet September though. I am more than ready to change down a gear and unpack the ankle boots and tartan scarves!

Today we are dog-sitting for Boy's Kindergarten teacher and the poor little pupster is sitting in her crate trembling. Every time she moves Dog growls at her. So I'm off to sit her on my knee and spray him with the water bottle if he continues!! Grumpy boy!!

Have a great Friday, everyone and enjoy the weekend. Back on Monday x