Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Year 7: The Beginning

"Well, I had the tie around my head, so I took it off at the end of the day and left on Miss's desk but..."

This is my daughter's phone call to me at work this morning. What I hear is that she is playing at being John Rambo at a school in St Helens. And for that, she has left her tie in school and probably lost it.

First Blood?

No, more like First Year.


Monday, 29 September 2014

Blogging With Integrity

I often wonder about this. Many bloggers are quite keen to maintain their integrity, blogging-wise.

I'm not sure I even know what that means. I'm just writing some stuff that comes out of my head. It might be a bit daft or rude sometimes.

What is integrity anyway?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

What Would You Say To Your Younger Self?

Time is  a funny thing isn't it. It flies over and with it we grow, learn and change. I sometimes think that I was a different person when I was younger - I was nothing like I am now.

Legal & General  are running a campaign asking "What would you say to your younger self?" so I thought it would be good to write what I would tell my younger self.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Our Tea-Time Routine

As a busy family, tea time is one of those make or break times of the day. It can either go swimmingly well, or just desperately wrong and you can end up wishing it had gone better - it can really ruin your night if the kids don't like something on their plate and then they won't eat it and then they are not full, and get upset and you might have to cook something else...

Not to mention the mess.

So anyway we have a pretty strict routine. Just lately we have started meal planning. We have never done this before, we just tend to buy 'stuff' and then go from there. But we have been meal planning for about two weeks now and it really does save us time, money and effort.

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Car: A Cautionary Tale

Or, the day that Alice, aged 3 was an actual Super Hero.

It was a long day. I had been stuck in traffic on the way in to work, and a long working day meant that I was tired and flagging. The rain had pelted the car on the drive home, the rhythmic sound of the wipers making my eyes droop at the wheel. Three hours in the car, I pulled up at my mother-in-law's house to collect the kids. Emily and Warren were staying late at open evening in the school. It was 7.30pm and I was shattered.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

On Saving Things For Best and Letting Yourself Go

"She's let herself go"

I hate this phrase. Sometimes I hear it in my head when I have scraped my hair back, leggings on, baggy top and odd socks - I'm only doing the school run, after all.

I thought it was no big deal, and in fact I found it quite amusing. I literally took two minutes to get ready in the morning. Showered, clean hair - not dirty. But just not done either.

I thought it would be OK. I'd just save my make-up 'for best.' I'd save my perfume 'for best'.

My nail varnish
My hair brushing
My wearing anything else other than leggings

Saving it all for best. Well, guess what - there is no best when you have children, nights out are few and far between aren't they, let's face it.

What Will You Call Your Blog??

I often get asked this question. "When you are not a student, what will you call your blog?"

Well, I will probably be a student for quite a few years yet. I graduate next year but I am planning on a Masters, so I'm pretty much covered. However, it got me thinking... what will I call my blog when eventually I am not a student??

Don't worry... I have it all figured out.

I've designed my new possible blog headers - what do you think?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

5 Things I Learned From Award Ceremonies

Specifically the MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards which were held at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington in London last Friday.

I wasn't up for an award, I was there because we had been tasked to do a 'secret bloggy thing.'  I was so excited and terrified at the same time - hey, I'm proper Northern and London is a scary place for me!

So, true to form I am going to list 5 things that I learned from this amazing award ceremony.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Adventures in Baking: Swiss Roll Part 2

So if you saw our Adventures in Baking Part 1, you will know that this particular endeavour did not end well.

Our swiss roll was a bit of an entire 100% disaster.

However, swiss roll will not beat me. This is part 2, and we made this today. I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves really.

I swear I am not much of a bragger: BUT  LOOK AT HOW FRIGGING BOSS MY CAKE IS!!!

Adventures in Baking: Terry's Chocolate Orange Swiss Roll Part 1

I'm starting a new series on here called 'Adventures in Baking.' I have no idea about baking and I am only just starting to get involved. I thought it would be nice to show the ups and definitely downs of a new baker - I suppose I am trying to show that if I can bake, then anyone can bake.

But not with this post.

This was a MASSIVE FAIL.

But its OK, I'm learning.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The One Where We Were in An Advert...

A few weeks ago I was invited to Media City to do some singing with the kids on film for an Internet advert for Cussons Mum & Me products. I said yes, it was my day off and we didn't have anything planned. This wasn't a blogging thing - they just wanted 'real mums' to get involved.

The kids were well-behaved on the way to Manchester, and I was a bit excited taking them both out a bit into the unknown - like a little adventure.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Cutting Costs After You Have Had A Baby

This post was written by A. Walsh a freelance writer.
Maternity pay helps you to take some time off to be with your baby once he or she is born, but the reality is that, like most people, you’ll be living on a reduced budget. Click here to make sure you’re getting the maternity leave and pay you should be and prepare to cut back on some everyday costs.

Money Worries and Fart Jokes

You might know that I have a house for sale in Manchester. I write a lot about this.

But I live in Liverpool, and pay a mortgage on my old house as well as council tax. It is all very boring and I am so very tired of it. My wages equal the cost of the house that I don't live in. A few weeks ago we had an offer - a low, rubbish offer, but an offer none-the-less. I consigned myself to the loss, consoling myself with 'it will all be done by Christmas.'

And this week I found out that the sale is not going ahead.

What do you do when you are in a hole you can't get out of?

Monday, 15 September 2014

People Who Want to Ruin Your LIfe

Life can be challenging and rewarding in equal measure. Sometimes you do good, sometimes not. But it would be a lot simpler if you just had control of your own circumstances wouldn't it. Sometimes there are people who, not matter what, just end up f*cking your life up in one way or another.

But fear not reader, for I have identified that b*stard lot. Listed below are the five types of people who are most likely to attempt to f*ck up your life.

Take this sage advice: avoid. Avoid them like the tranquility and smoothness of the path that is your life depends on it.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Baby Cuddles #PowerOfSoft

This is a sponsored post

I love having babies around the house. Alice and Rosie are so funny and gorgeous and well...cuddly. I know only too well that babies grow quickly into big kids - I can't quite believe that Emily has started High School already, It seems like only yesterday she was a babe in arms and we were cuddling on the couch.

Is it Right for the Kids? What You Should Take Into Consideration when Buying a Car as a Parent

This post was written by a freelance writer.

When looking for a family car, there are numerous factors you need to keep in mind. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in what you want, rather than what’s practical for you and your kids. As a parent there are times you have to sacrifice what you want for what your kids need. However, a family car doesn’t have to be boring. There are plenty of great, high performing and reliable family cars out there. Take any used Ford from Jennings Motor Group for example. Ford has ranked first in the best selling cars of 2014 for good reason. Below you’ll find out more about the things you should consider when choosing the best car for you and your family.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Winter Clothing

This is a PR collaboration

I hate to say it but winter is just around the corner. It is this time of the year where we are going to need to wrap up warm, stick the heating on and drag the winter wardrobe out. With that in mind, here are some really great ideas to get you toasty warm.

Learning to Drive

This post was written by a freelance writer.

Kids grow up so quickly and before you know it they've had enough of Mum and Dad's Taxi service and want to learn to drive.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Notes on Trying to Conceive (TTC)

Hold the phone. I am not actually trying to conceive, and even if I was then it would be pretty pointless seeing as though we had my husband fixed last year.

But, not too long ago - yes, I did plan my babies. I was a TTC-er. I did all the things that you're meant to do (including have sex!) to get pregnant. I thought it might be nice to write some old notes to the people that in some way witnessed me during my TTC days, and specifically during the time that you wait to see if you have conceived. (The Two- Week-Wait - or the 2WW.)  See, I know the lingo...

Dear everyone

I'm sorry...

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Our Three Girls

Here is a bit about our girls:

There is Emily, aged 11 who lists causing arguments in the house, Minecraft, causing arguments outside the house and erm... Minecraft as her interests.

Then Alice, aged 3. She loves Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly and being very helpful in probably an unhelpful way.

Rosie is 1 and likes laughing and farting. She also likes Peppa Pig and  the Ninky Nonk.

We have three girls. We never did have a boy and are more than happy with our lot. There are sometimes I think "Ooh maybe we should have had a boy too." But these moments don't last. I realise how fortunate we are to have these three in our lives.

New Homes

This is a PR Collaboration

We currently live in a three-bedroom house as a family. We are happy where we are for the time being but there will come a time when we want to move to a bigger home. Rosie and Alice share a bedroom and of course this is fine, but eventually it might be nice for them to have their own space. With that in mind I sometimes flick through the estate agent's pages and see where I would like to live and what type of house.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Review: Faith In Nature Aloe Vera Gift Bag

I was given this product free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words and views are my own. 

When I was offered the chance to review this Faith In Nature Aloe Vera Gift Bag I was really chuffed. If you read this blog you'll know that I am very busy and there are only so many hours in a day - my pampering is fairly limited! So, obviously in the interests of reviewing this product fully, I have taken the time to use the product and actually enjoy pampering myself!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Review: Cyber Clean

I was given this product free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words and views are my own. 

I was given the opportunity to review Cyber Clean - a cleaning compound for home and office. It is a rubbery, slippery ball - for want of a better description and can be used to clean keyboards, gratings, phones and other hard-to-clean appliances.

It is based on natural ingredients and kills 99% of harmful germs.

I thought it would be a great idea to take this into work to give our computers a good clean - here is our review!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Sure-Fire Ways to Increase Your Traffic: Sex Sells

I have managed this WHOLE website single-handedly now for oooh... a couple of years. It takes some serious frigging dedication, serious topics, discussion and professional level-headedness to make a blog a success.

This is why I feel that I am now more than suitably-qualified to let you in on some secrets to increase your traffic, if you have your own website or blog, or thinking of embarking on such a project.

So here are the top 5 ways to increase your blog traffic. And remember the GOLDEN RULE: Sex Sells.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

What You OWE Me

I always complain about working too much for not enough. It seems like life as a mother means there is no rest and no time off.

Well, family. I have prepared a lovely itemised bill for you, just for today, just for one day where you have driven me up the wall.

Payment is in cash only, I'm not accepting cuddles, farts, trodden-on Cheerios or baked bean kisses in lieu.

Pay up, or GET OUT!!!

What you'll encounter as a graduate job-searcher

This is a guest post. 

For up to three years you have more than likely slept, manically worked, partied and then slept again - like one big circle of life – and now this is all over you have come to the stomach-dropping conclusion that you are officially unemployed.

The bank of Mum and Dad suddenly stops being so friendly now that you’re back home and it suggests that you get a job and start paying rent until you can move out. ‘Move out?’ You think, ‘but I’ve just got my room back to how I like it!’

So, where do you start?

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