Seriously, how often have I said that M&S really know their shit at the minute? If I knew how, I'd search my own blog for when I first mentioned it...but I don't, so I won't. Besides, there's nothing worse than an insufferable know-it-all who does the 'I told you so dance' whenever they're proved right. I'm not a fool ;-)
Anyway, Eleanore at The Mumday Times linked to a really cute cross body handbag last week (see post here) and lo, it was from M&S. Now, it's very similar to the JCrew one I lusted after and the Accessorize one I bought in an attempt to be frugal, so I wasn't much interested in the handbag itself BUT check out the amazing outfit it's featured with...
It's like my perfect outfit. Those jeans are like the ones I wanted from Zara last summer but couldn't get in my size (hello, deep turn ups, I love you!) I have those white trainers. I have a crossbody bag (albeit not red) and I'm always saying I need to stop wearing lightweight jumpers and branch out into new tops and blouses (if I don't say it here then believe me, I say it all the time to myself in my head!)
So last night I found myself on the M&S website having a cheeky shop. The only thing I will say, M&S, your website could do with some work. This photo above was featured in the handbag pictures but there were no links to the other items so I had to start from the beginning and scour the individual sections for each thing. #firstworldproblems
Found them all for you though and saved the links!
Yes, they do look like a different colour to the picture above, no, I can't explain why?? Maybe they're not the same ones... Hmm...? Get them here
Wow, Saturday's news stories were a sight to behold. I haven't been able to watch any video footage of the presidential happenings for the last month or so, I found they made me rage too much. I've been following the news closely online though and in such stressful and upsetting times, I was overwhelmed to see so many humans out in force protesting peacefully against everything that Trump represents.
Nana moved house on Friday so we have been knee deep in packing boxes for the last 48 hours or I may have joined in. I also live in the shire where 'feminism' is a still considered somewhat of a dirty word and 'protesting' is something to be done quietly at home, maybe in your mind whilst you fold some laundry (that's not antagonistic, there's just a lot of SAHMs up here and that's what we do!) However you did it, thought, what's important to note is that we have collectively come to the decision that the man is a total and utter c#nt and we will vehemently rise up against his bullshit, hand in hand.
I know the march is over, and what we are protesting about is unfortunately much more than Women's Rights, but the fight is just beginning and my fear is that a lot of what that man represents and is capable of will quickly filter down to our youth and affect the entire world. More info can be found here if you fancy a read (warning: you will feel all empowered and feminist after this!)
In the meantime,
...whether it comes in the form of marching alongside thousands loudly or proudly, or an internal change in your attitude and tolerance levels, call out casual racism, challenge gender stereotypes, celebrate differences, constantly reinforce respect towards each other (esp infront of younger, impressionable minds), and BE KIND.
Because if the free world is going to be led by a total misogynist who thinks women can be 'grabbed by the pussy', that LGBT rights don't deserve a space on his official website and that immigrants should be 'contained'*, we are going to need a whole bucket load of kindness towards each other!
*just 3 examples of the idiocy currently being spouted by him and his team. The list of bullshit is endless, but I didn't want to list it all here incase you sat and cried all day!
(literally only found out what 'hump day' meant a few weeks ago, how random, hate it!)
It's Wednesday everyone, we're more than half way there. And lo, I am not more than half way through my wanky list of stuff that is stressing me out. It now reads as follows: 1 parent who is definitely moving on Friday, has finally sorted out the removals and now wants me to organise boy/dog cover with 2 days notice. Fine, Nana, no sweat... 1 contractor who has provided me with a comprehensive quote and one PLA committee who have refused to vote on it because it is, and I swear this is true, not in the correct format. 1 appointment with Sexy Headteacher to discuss the length of my child's hair. Aaarghh. 4 tickets for U2 that cost an impressive £1000 and 1 very grumpy Husband. Sister is still moronic. 1 tenant who rang last night because he couldn't figure out how to turn the washing machine on. 1 phone call from Npower offering me £50 off a £500 bill after 18months of phone calls to rectify a fault made on their part. Yeah, I was not polite. 1 disco to organise now the drama has all calmed down and been dealt with. 1 smashed iPhone screen (thought I'd get my annual claim in first thing this year, sigh!) 1 cheque with the wrong name on to send back to British Gas. 2 insurance policies to update. And the dear friend is still sad. The list goes on and on and on... Still, had a lovely morning at the playbarn with Posh Mama followed by a sneaky trip to TKMaxx and Next and am now going to snuggle up under a blanket with Toddler before the school run at 3.40pm. So, you know, could be worse. Hope you're all having a fun Wednesday? Roll on the weekend!! x
How is possible to be this exhausted and pissed off AND IT'S ONLY TUESDAY?? In the last few days I have dealt with:
1 parent who is potentially moving out of the family home we have all known and loved for 35 odd years on Friday AND WHO HASN'T BOOKED ANY REMOVALS.
1 contractor who promised me a quote within 48hrs and is still ignoring my calls after 5 days.
1 ridiculous teacher at school who decided that she would put Boy's hair in bunches for a gymnastics lesson (the less said about this the better at the moment as I am still in ranty mode about it!)
1 stressful session on Ticketmaster trying to get U2 ticket's for BFF's birthday which was totally unfruitful.
1 sister who has defied the medical advice of a team of professionals and made a decision about Niece's health and recovery that is moronic and selfish.
1 tenant who rings/texts every single day asking me a ridiculous question.
1 boiler that had leaked inside so was blowing the electrics every time Husband decided that he knew better that the very safety features designed to protect us from certain death, overrode it and turned it back on again.
5 visits from British Gas.
1 snotty phonecall from the electrician that Husband had decided was at fault (can't blame him, he was entirely blameless in this situation and I had to grovel profusely)
1 bitch mother at school who decided to complain about a photo of Kindergarten Teacher and myself out at dinner which I had posted on Facebook six weeks ago.
1 group of angry PLA members fighting over the provision of temporary tattoos at the upcoming school disco.
And on top of all that anger-inducing faff, I have also counselled 1 girlfriend who has finally admitted that she is in a miserable relationship but feeling too scared to leave. Emotionally exhausting (for her more than me obvs, but still upsetting)
Solution: 2017 sucks ass! And I am off to Yoga to destress before I scream in someone's face. Hope your week is going better than mine!!
And here we are, now waiting for British Gas to come back FOR A FOURTH TIME. Toddler and I have been swimming, have dropped Boy's blazer off at the dry cleaners (covered in bird poo, I don't want to know how it happened!) and are now enjoying a hot coffee before we put away yet more laundry and watch the phone, waiting for it to call. Don't let anyone ever tell you that the life of a stay at home mother isn't a thrill a minute ;-)
Toddler yesterday after a heavy morning in nursery!
And the current state of play... who would like to place a bet that they call just as I head out to school?!
Happy Wednesday, everyone. It's almost the weekend!!
My God, how hard is it to find a reliable energy provider who sends you accurate bills, answers the bloody phone and knows what they're doing? In England, apparently nigh on impossible.
I can not tell you how hard npower have made our lives in the last 18 months. We had a huge issue, after 16 months of ranty phonecalls they claimed to have fixed it, we left it a few months (because of emotional and mental exhaustion) then decided to leave and GUESS WHAT? Yesterday we found out that our switch to another provider was automatically denied because...the initial fault that they claimed they had fixed IS STILL THERE.
It's not even a broken pipe or a faulty connector, something tangible and understandable...it's some nitwit in an office who can't update our account properly and therefore sends us bills THOUSANDS of pounds over what we owe.
Am seething. Not to mention really quite upset for the old, lonely people who may have opened a bill like that, had heart failure and then paid the damn thing without questioning it at all.
Then, to top it all off, we have home care cover agreements for both houses with British Gas. Yesterday they were coming to fix the boiler at our old house (after seeing it on Sunday and promising to come back with the tiny part...) and nothing. No-one showed up and no-one rang me. Cue more frantic phone calls and cross words and an engineer who was still in the area and happy to do the job but a computer system that wouldn't allow them to book a job on his PDA therefore he couldn't come. I mean, I bloody ask you?!
Urgh. Anyway, yesterday's blog post was all written but failed to post and because I spent 90 mins of my day on the phone to British Gas when I had planned to sit down and do some admin, I didn't notice. Sorry.
I trust you all had a good weekend? We had a birthday party for the new boy at school (kill me now, Mood Hoover Mother was out in force, glaring at anyone who was unfortunate enough to catch her eye and moaning about anything and everything) and then on Sunday I spent an incredible day at Moddershall Oaks with the girls. Need a spa day and not sure where to go? Go to Moddershall Oaks. It was amazing. Close enough to mean I was back in time for bedtime stories and snuggles and far enough away that we could have a proper chat and catch up in the car before totally switching off and relaxing when we arrived. Such bliss!
Right, must dash, they've just called now to say they're on their way to the old house so I need to race round and let them in. Why yes, it is 15mins before I'm due to collect Toddler and no, Puppy hasn't done his lunchtime poo yet...how did you guess?!
...and it's the traditional time for making changes. I'm normally great at coming up with my resolutions and I usually manage them...for a few months. But this year, nothing has sprung to mind. I needed some extra inspiration and a kick up the butt so I did what I always do, I did some reading ;-)
Here are some articles I read and loved last week when I was still dithering about trying to decide...
And here's the final list for 2017! I tried hard to make them healthy resolutions that will hopefully impact positively on my family, too.
This Mama will no longer drink any alcohol Mon-Thurs. Sigh.
I shall say 'no' to projects that really do not need my time nor attention. Soon I will be working on the Cancer Research spring event and I've agreed to head up the Forest School development at school, those two things alongside a new puppy, running a house and two small firecracker boys are MORE than enough, thank you very much, but I shall need to remind myself and fight my natural urge to volunteer for everything going!
Take a weekend break away with Husband.
Book a skiing trip. We have been putting this off FOREVER due to being pregnant, having a newborn, having a small child, having two small children and then this winter we hoped we would be pregnant again and as such didn't book a ski holiday (because this Mama wants to SKI damn it, not sit and watch!!) But, you know what, life goes on, and if I book a ski trip and then fall pregnant I will get to watch my little snow bunnies on the slopes and eat extra strudel. I can manage. Life is whizzing by and must be grabbed with two hands!
Plough some money into the house, rather than Boden's pockets!! I am happy with a temporary fix in the kitchen, but I really would like the dressing room wardrobes in our room ripped out and replaced. So that's the goal house-wise. Oh, and replace the garden table that Boy accidentally smashed with a hammer in the week between Christmas and New Year's (Husband's fault, I mean, really?! Who gives a 5yr old a lump hammer?!)
Five little things that will hopefully make life happier. Have sent the article about getting out of bed as soon as you wake up to Husband, let's see if he reads it!!
Did anyone else make some resolutions? Hope they're still going strong one week in...!
Morning!! Right, today will be photo-overload as I bring you up to date on life here in the shire. Then normal service will resume.
I hope everyone had an excellent Christmas holiday. Husband had 2 whole weeks off work. This is unheard of. The man doesn't TAKE time off work, he has been known to answer calls at the top of ski slopes and in fancy Parisian restaurants (our honeymoon, sweet I know!) I suspect they physically banned him from the building this year? It was touch and go for a while at the start while we all found our place and adjusted to a new rhythm...but on the whole it's been rather calm and delightful. Hope I've not just jinxed our final 2 days together?!
We have been incredibly busy when I look through my photos...but it has felt quite relaxed and spread out which is also a first for us. Normally I get over-excited about family time and over-schedule us to the point where we have crying children on train platforms and ranting husbands in traffic jams. Boo. We haven't done any travelling this year (due to Puppy, I suppose?) and we hosted the main event for the first time in this house (SUCH fun!!) which also meant less stress.
Here's a peak...
Boy's favourite gift, HILARIOUS!
Such hardship, should I disturb Puppy to reach my gin? Aargh!!
My friends know me so well...!
Growing bigger by the day
Yet another section of the clown kitchen being taken out...
...to make space for...
...this Mama's Christmas gift. Yes. I am officially ancient. I got a fridge for Christmas!
Girls' night in? Buy one of every party food Waitrose have on offer!!
Little trinket to cheer up a friend
After a slow-burning start, Dog has turned a corner with Puppy and now they're (almost, practically) besties!
Posh Mama bought the boys new dragons for Christmas. They go everywhere with us now!
Stellar parenting here. Accidentally let Toddler drink a rather large mouthful of my gin at dinner in Birmingham. He missed half the show at Town Hall. Oops!
Christmas Day dog walk to the park, as you do!
Any excuse to scale the cenotaph!
Toddler ripped open his stocking gifts before I'd even heard him wake up...
...but was then the SLOWEST GIFT UNWRAPPER in the world. He was still going at 4pm!!
Meeting the Big Guy in Red at Yummy Mummy's annual shindig, such a great night.
Only the second year of this tradition but love it so, gingerbread houses with Goddaughter.
Seriously, when this kid is being a little 'taxing' I offer him a turn on the hoover and he is made up. Bless!
New favourite haunt in Birmingham, the Botanist. Nana and I dropped by for some nibbles before the ballet, great atmosphere and the food is delish.
Phew. See? We have done a lot in 3 weeks!! This week we have also been to Nana's for a big family meal (potentially the final one before she sells the family home and downsizes), taken Puppy for his second round of booster injections, all had haircuts and down quite a few trips to the big hospital after Husband's mother was taken ill on NYE (she's all fine, home soon, but was a bit stressful for a moment).
This is the first big holiday from school that Boy hasn't outgrown his school shoes (finally!! I was beginning to dread going to Clarks, every damn time the kid needed new shoes AND new trainers AND new rugby boots AND new play shoes for home, we were going to need to remortgage the house if it continued...) so to celebrate we've said we'll take him to the cinema this weekend. I know. A reward for not growing. Ridiculous!!
Did anyone get anything wonderful for a Christmas gift? And did anyone make some resolutions for the new year ahead? I'm normally really good at setting some (and keeping them until at least February!) but am struggling to think of any this year...ideas welcome below!
Have a great weekend, will be back on Monday with my final list x
Hola, I'm emerged from the darkness that is Christmas to post this...
...you are eternally welcome.
This Mama will be back soon, with puppy updates, shire news, house de-cluttering tips (the start of a new year always gets me a bit antsy and I start flinging things in bin liners, Husband had better not stand still for too long or he'll find himself on the way to the skip!!) and wardrobe developments, but right now I have 4 days left of my babies at home and I need to soak up every precious moment. You must excuse me from the party for a while longer!
I trust you have all enjoyed a relaxing and restorative Christmas break and are ready to roar your way into 2017?! See you on Thursday x