Thursday, 17 November 2016

How Clean is YOUR House?

I often wonder how clean other people’s houses REALLY are. You see, I am an awful mix of complete neat freak and terminally lazy. I think people who often have WAY too much going on in their heads often have neat-freak tendencies. If I can “just sort this room out” then my brain will be all calm and my thoughts will be in order. Perhaps it’s a sign of an anxious person. “I got all these things to think through AND a stinky, messy pit to clean up…GAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” Actually. That does sound like me.

And I like my house to be clean. REALLY clean and tidy at ALL times. But it isn’t. And it never has been. Even before I had kids. Even when I only had one cat or even when I lived abroad and had NO cats. It was never, ever shiny spick and span. Because as with everything in life, my expectations do not meet reality.

So then I wonder how clean other people’s houses are. Because I am secretly weirdly competitive about stupid things like this. Now, I am not talking about the super messy, life’s-too-short brigade where stuff is everywhere and no fucks are given. And just for the record, I have NO ill judgement of that either. I don’t care if you live in a pit. And I do envy your no fucks given attitude too. Because if I had that attitude, I’d either have been chasing the dragon, or have had my brain entirely re-wired. My MO is worry about everything at all times and that includes the state of my house. It’s not necessarily the best MO.

I am talking about the ones whose houses are relatively clean looking and tidy, as much as they ever can be with small kids involved. So usually one room, at least during waking hours, will resemble a jumble sale but that’s NORMAL. But how often do they really clean their kitchen floor, change their sheets, wash the towels, dust the shelves, hoover, scrub the bath? Do I do it enough? Sorry, I mean do WE do it enough? Is it weird to ask? Would you tell the truth? Is it normal to care? Is it a feminist issue?! OK that last question is a bit of a red herring.

The reason I got to thinking about this is two-fold. Firstly, I do have a cleaner who used to come fortnightly and now comes once a month. And the 5 minutes after she has left are the cleanest my house will ever be and it’s BLISS! But she’s MIA at the moment and I’m having a moral (if not, an excruciatingly middle class) dilemma: do I look for a temporary replacement or do I section off a big chunk of our weekend to get it done? And I am spoilt enough to REALLY not want to do this! I spend most nights bashing away on social media / writing / filming / editing / promoting and 4 days a week in work and the rest of the time parenting. I don’t want to clean. But I want a clean house! WHAAAAAAAAAAT!

Secondly, and this is apt, whilst we were all out ignoring house work last weekend, I stumbled upon the fantastic and seemingly anachronistic 70s book “Superwoman” by Shirley Conran. Its preface stating “Life’s too Short to Stuff a Mushroom”. I had actually picked it up to scoff at its outdatedness…. Who gives a monkeys about being a domestic goddess these days?! Pah! GET with the times, love! But then I actually started reading it and I was HOOKED! It’s ace! It’s witty, and funny and SO handy! A million tips on everything to do with running a house, from making your own washing liquids to weekly budgets and shopping tips. Having done a little background research I’ve discovered it was quite trailblazing publication. It was aimed at the emerging working woman who had little time to dedicate to cleaning her house.

Of course it IS vastly dated in that it suggests you never ask your husband for help, even if you ARE cutting corners a bit in your domestic duties! My reply to THAT is here. But some of the tips are fantastic! This is a good one:

Clean one room at a time because you can stop right there if time runs out or you get bored. Stop half an hour before you had planned, because then you won't be too exhausted to clean up properly.

So true! My normal cleaning mode is “OMG so and so is coming around in 10 minutes and I need to vacuum the whole house and clean the bog at LEAST.” By the time the person has arrived I’m a sweating heap and in need of a rest, and they have to make their own coffee!

But one big thing I took from the book was the LEVEL of cleaning that was expected, daily weekly and even annually. I mean, do you take down your curtains every spring and have them dry cleaned? Do you EVER hoover your sofa or mattress? (This is a weekly job apparently). Is part of your weekly routine to clean all the cupboards out and the fronts and dust all the high bits in the room and door frames?! How the bloody hell did women ever get anything done if this was a guide to skipping corners! How is taking down ALL YOUR CURTAINS skipping any corners?

My thing is, if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it! Cupboards need cleaning when something spills (including fronts); curtains need cleaning if some outside force has interfered….spillages / mould / cats; cobwebs get dusted at BEST when I can be bothered. I’d LOVE to have someone else do all of those things for me weekly but even I know that this is beyond reasonable.

But as I said before, I am weirdly competitive. I need to know if we’re normal or if we’re scumbags.

So. In 2016: How clean IS your house? What are your weekly routines? I need to see if our level of cleanliness meets acceptable standards. Comment, Facebook or Tweet me. I NEED TO KNOW, like NOW!!!!!

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas For Parents.

It's that time of year again, just after Hallowe'en, where thoughts turn from spooky masks and bonfires to something more festive and sugary cinnamon tinged.... Yes. My favourite time of year ladies and gentlemen. I am almost feeling SICK with excitement. 

A popular thing to see in magazines, sunday supplements and online publications, are gift guides. And I've had a brilliant idea *she notes, modestly*. I have come up with an ALTERNATIVE Christmas ideas list for parents. These are ALL things I would pay through the nose for. Every single item on this list is a must-have for parents. And without further ado, I shall introduce the items. 

"Calm Waters" Spray

Calm Waters spray comes in three delightful flavours: Bedtime, Bathtime and Mealtimes. It's a lovely, gently scented spray to use whenever things are starting to get juuusssst a little fraught at those potentially problematic times of the day. Just one little spritz from this clever little chap and those ridiculous tantrums will fizzle away to nothing, leaving a calm and serene time to be had by all. RRP: Don't care, just bung it in the trolley. 

Stop The Fight Lipbalm

A cheeky little stocking filler, this clever lipbalm, once slathered on the crusty lips of your dearly beloved offspring will immediately pacify even the fiestiest of performances! No more hair-pulling, eye-gouging, nail-digging, face-scramming, head-punching scraps between little snotty-nosed Clarabell and spitty-faced Tarquin! They'll be a thing of the past with this superb little nub! Gender neutral colour to abate the fussy little so and so's. RRP: OMG where have you been all my life?

School Run Sweeping Brush

An utter essential for all parents of school aged children. Just pluck the little blighters fresh from their pit and pop them in front of this fabulous brush. One big sweep out the door and they will be fully clothed, watered and fed ready for the school run. Bonus upgrade for the monstrously disorganised amongst us: a nifty little attachment will also pack lunches, find dog-eared homework, miscellaneous costumes, sign permission slips and remember the ten thousandth request for some charitable cause. RRP: Hell to the yes. We'll take the upgrade, STAT. 

Guilt-Free Babysitter Voucher

How about an evening of guilt free childcare for his n hers / hers n hers / his n his pleasure? This amazing voucher will allow you to have an evening unfettered by the worry of returning the favour, sticking to weird terms, early curfews or even the dreaded small talk upon your sozzled return as you struggle to remain upright and sober at the end of your fantastic guilt free night out. The voucher will enable the babysitter to simply evaporate the minute you arrive home, allowing you to collapse face first into your bed with no worries that you've said something inappropriate to the poor bugger. Again. RRP: I'll take all you've got and I'll buy the business. 

Lastly but by no means least, the most hallowed of all wishes for parents this Christmas....

Gift Card for 8 Hours Sleep

A gift card which entitles the proprietor to a solid, uninterrupted 8 hours of gorgeous, plump, sweet as chocolate sleep! No bed sharing, no snoring, no screaming kids, no overly amourous/needy pets, no expectations of half arsed fumble. Just sweet, sweet sleep. Upgrade to the deluxe 10 hour edition exclusive for parents of infernal, nocturnal creatures. RRP: Priceless.

So there we have it. A collection of the most sought after presents for all parents this Christmas. See your local dealer for stock levels. I imagine these will sell like hot cakes! Happy shopping! 

UPDATE: Now with added video version of the post at the bottom! :) 

Friday, 21 October 2016

Periods Suck.

Periods. We've all had have 'em. Well those of us who are (cis) ladies. And for most of the men I’ve met, you’re pretty familiar with them too. What you men are not familiar with however, is the awfulness that is periods. Except for having to endure the mood swings of your partners, treading on eggshells and possibly extra chocolate-buying once a month.


Periods have also been in the news recently for a couple of reasons. The free-bleeders protesting the tampon tax; the candid interview that a Chinese swimmer gave at the Olympics where she mentioned she’d been on her period (but it was not to blame for her performance); And the fact that more and more companies are now offering woman paid “Menstrualleave” to optimise their productivity in the work place.

But I know for most of us It’s still a very “eeeewwwy” inducing subject and I’m pretty sure that includes MOST men. And I understand why. It IS grim. It’s a grim event that often makes us ladies hyper paranoid about personal hygiene and body odour. Let’s face it, it’s a disgusting odour.

It is as baffling to me as the fact that we have to IN THIS DAY AND AGE endure 9 months of *gestational hell, that we still get to suffer the indignity, emotional roller coaster, grossness and outright pain every month for the majority of our lives. WHY? Why has there not been some brilliant, side-effect free procedure that kicks these things into touch until they’re needed? I am beginning to seriously resent them.

*I didn't have very good pregnancies and admit this is not everyone's experience! 

I was lucky in that mine didn’t start until I was 13. But when they started, boy. I knew about it. They were pain city. Sharp as needles stabbing pains right through my lower abdomen. I would have to go and lie in the sick bay with a hot water bottle on a regular basis and that might be the only time I was grateful my formative years were spent in an all-girls school.

But you grow up, and you find ways to cope that make your life more “liveable” just like the cringe-inducing Bodyform adverts of the 90s implored you to do. I found painkillers that worked and switched from “perfumed” pads to hide-it-away tampons. Side note…. Perfumed pads? Gagfest more like. Nothing is gonna make that smell more pleasant, buster!

I have also spent my entire adult life, whilst not duffed up, stuffing Evening Primrose or Star-flower oil down my gob in an effort to ease the symptoms. Doctors actually used to prescribe them to me before they started to regulate alternative medicines but I still know 100% they make my hormonal life better. And actually, save a few really rough occasions, I didn’t have an awful time of it through most of my adult life. A bit of pain and some wild mood swings but nothing that majorly affected my everyday life.

Until I had kids. Wow. I was in no way prepared for how awful they would become post kids. Pain….oh god the pain. When it’s not a dull ache that feels like your lower back is trying to split apart from your torso, then it’s a bloated feeling of cannon balls rolling around your lower abdomen. Or the very worst… (graphic description warning)…. Lead weights being attached by wires to your lady flaps pulling down, down, down….ooooooooow! Or, just the normal stabby-needle in the ovaries. Take your pick.

Then there’s the mood swings. For the WHOLE month. Tears over NOTHING. Actually weeping in complete confusion because things are brilliant but you just feel SAD. Terrifying anger that makes you feel like the biggest, most impatient, hell-fire bitch. But also totally justified in your ludicrous irrationality at least until the hormones sending you mental settle and then the guilt. The awful guilt. Or just the wobbly, anxiety feeling that stuff doesn’t feel right. Again for no apparent reason.

The days when it’s actually arrived and you feel sick, woozy, dizzy, clumsy and weak. It’s hard to concentrate. You just want to lie down in quiet room with a hot water bottle and make it go away.

Finally the grossest bit. (Squeamish, look away now) The blood. The bleeding through the super tampons in half an hour, the acute paranoia of going out in public without layers of pads and tampons etc. etc. It feels like the world is falling out of your foof. And it sucks. Big time.

And thanks to the fourth wave, it’s being discussed more openly now than ever before. I know it has to be a conversation too. It’s why I’ve written about it. The tampon tax is completely absurd and there is definitely an environmental impact too. I don’t know how I feel about freebleeders, I get their point but I am still pathetic enough to be grossed out by the hygiene issue. And I shamefacedly admit this is why I won’t try using a moon cup either. The thought of fishing it out, not spilling it over my clothes and washing it in the work toilets' sink is a step beyond for me right now.

I've written this whilst completely incapacitated by one. I've had to cancel uber fun plans which involved wine, good friends and family. I don't take kindly to this kind of inconvenience. It's made me a pathetic, sofa-bound, weepy baby today with no boozey fun to look forward to at the end of the day (because it makes me pukey whilst I'm bleeding). 

But we need to keep talking about them anyway. Making them less taboo, try to get over the grossness factor and realise that they affect a lot of women’s lives, a lot of the time. Periods Suck. There I said it. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Who Loves A Bit of Dressing Up?

Hands up who likes dressing up? Are you a lover or a hater? Three guesses which I am. Of course I am. I am a LOVER! WOOHOO! I love that shiz to death! There’s nothing more fun to me than making a big old deal about something with full blown costume thrown in….it completely adds to the excitement! If you give me an invite which has the immortal words “Fancy Dress” on it…you can double dutch bet your bottom dollar I’ll be there!

Why do people like to dress up so much? Well it’s a little bit of fantasy isn’t it? You get to play someone or something else for a few hours. You can completely change persona if you feel like it! My parents had a 70s themed Ruby Wedding party and people didn’t even recognise me. I loved it! “Look, it’s me JESS! ….see?” I was so over excited, bless.

It can also be quite ceremonial. When a friend had her 40th last year, we were all instructed to come in medieval gowns and the venue was the basement of a medieval castle. That felt very ceremonious and grand.

It’s also quite a traditional thing to do, especially around Halloween. People used to go Mumming and Guising (yes this is completely lifted from Wiki!) dressing in disguise and going from house to house reciting songs for food. How it’s degenerated into hoards of sticky kids dressed up in highly flammable neon and black clothing with their hands out demanding fistfuls of e-numbers and sugar, I DON’T know.

I also wondered a little bit about the psychology of dressing up and wanted to know if anyone on the interwebs had a psychological explanation for those of us who love a face thick with grease paint, silly wigs and comical pants. And the two main theories (quoted in this article) I found were (loosely) that people who are drawn to fancy dress tend to be either people who like to reinvent themselves or people who are immature! People who reinvent themselves tend to frequently change careers or can be social chameleons. Well the later is certainly true for me. I tend to adopt how I act to fit in with those around me. Which is not probably something I should freely admit to because perhaps it makes me sound like a phoney…but I would say mostly I do it to make who I am with feel comfortable. Actually I am not sure that’s better…now I sound completely sanctimonious! Oh god…I don’t know!

The other theory being that people like the childishness of dressing up, and it’s a form of nostalgia and a recreation of the excitement we felt as kids when we did so. I think this is definitely true for me. I am EXTREMELY childish and downright refuse to grow up. You can’t make me! This is why I’m obsessed with Christmas too. I like food, presents, sparkly things and fizz and I want it all NOW…there I said it!

Is it true that for the most part men are not as fond of it as women? Is that a sexist statement? I ask because I truly don’t know and would love to hear your experiences. I do know that I find it attractive when a man is willing to make a fool of himself (which is good given that my husband is a dab hand!). I think that’s part of the attraction, to not take yourself so seriously.

So why then, in the last 10 odd years or so, has it become “tradition” for girls to dress up as “sexy” versions of Halloween characters?! This utterly baffles me. I was asking friends online about this earlier and realised that it really is just a female thing. Because you get “sexy witch” outfits but you sure as shit don’t get sexy wizard costumes! What is up with that?

Now don’t get me wrong… I can dress like a ho bag as much as the next person…nothing wrong with occasionally wanting to display the goods….but when it seems to be the only option available to buy….I have serious what-the-fuck-itis.

And don’t even get me started on the choice for larger ladies. Thankfully Kellie from Big Fashionista has done exactly that in her scathing piece about ASOS and it’s pathetic collection for the chubs. Including a pink, crushed velvet wrap dress. Because that just screams HALLOWEEN doesn’t it?!

Here are some brilliant pics/ideas my friends shared with me of their costumes over the years. They are a mixed bunch between sexy and silly and that’s totally cool. I am all about the choice, peeps!

Sarah from Whimsical Mumblings says: I don't like the conventional costumes. Witches/vampires etc. Apart from on children, they're cute. I like film characters, cartoons or jokey costumes. When I was hugely pregnant i dressed up as a nun. Get it? This year i'm going as Coraline!

Jade from Late for Reality:  I always like to go scary for Halloween but often family parties are the most inappropriate place to go all out gore! I did Maleficent last year which was awesome! My best tip would be to concentrate on the hair and makeup then go simple on the outfit. It is a lot cheaper than making a costume. 

Kelly from Kelly Allen Writer says: It's my FAVE time of year and this month I get to dress up at least 4 times! I like to mix it up and do what I want and SEXY might be part of it but it might not, but I don't overthink the sexy side, I do what I want and don't really care what anyone thinks. I once went as a half fine half burns victim and terrified everyone at Uni, I've been a zombie several times, vampire... Etc tonight I am a 'host' for the kids event so a mask and a big green tulle skirt and then for Halloween I am going for a skeleton vibe, we have rocky horror next weekend and then a few events where I will be whatever takes my fancy, maybe a dead pirate... I just love it to death!!!! Xxx

Cathryn from CardiffMummy SaysOh gosh, I remember at university we all dressed up for Halloween one year and decided to go gruesome, whereas most girls went sexy. We just thought it would be a good laugh. We painted our faces bright green as witches, my friend stuck rice crispies on her face as warts. We went to a fab party and despite how hideous I looked, I remember talking to the man who is now my husband for ages.However, the green face paints left us all with a green-yellow tinge that did not come off for a few days. I was mortified! The next year we went sexy!These days, I don't think sexy is appropriate as I have three small children - but I do love to dress up usually as a witch or a cat.

Sara-Jayne from Keeping up with the Jones FamilyI've been a pregnant pumpkin, female Frankenstein and corpse bride so far :)

Naomi from Tattooed Mummy’s Randoms: I always want to be sexy, not just at Halloween, but not slutty. Just being semi naked or wearing a tutu isn't sexy. I've been a bride of dracula, a bat, and this year I'll be wearing a morphsuit! I'm a fan of being scary though, as that's what the tradition of Halloween is about, so it's never not a scary character , I don't like the American idea of just dressing as anything you fancy

So what about you? Do you like dressing up? Or do you think it's just for kids? 

Cuddle Fairy
Admissions Of A Working Mother

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

7 Ways I fail at gender neutral parenting (But it doesn’t make me a rubbish feminist)

Here are the seven ways I fail at gender-neutral parenting: 

1) I painted my daughter’s new bedroom peach and bright yellow and my 6 yr old boy’s bedroom grey and black.

2) I bought some “boy” and “girl” toys for the party bags for my son’s birthday. Including pretty stickers & hair clips vs robot stickers & cars.

3) My son loves football and my daughter loves dancing. I actively encourage both.

4) Gus had Thomas the Tank crockery when he was little. I bought Joni Peppa Pig stuff when she came along.

5) Gus’s wardrobe was lots of reds, yellows, greens as well as blue when he was little but now his wardrobe is made up of black, brown and grey. Joni has those colours too but also ALL the colours and a big dollop of yellow, pink and purple.

6) Gus had fairly neutral toys until about one but then he was drawn towards cars, trains and balls. So that’s what we bought. Joni was obsessed with dolls by the age of one. Admittedly introduced by the child-minder but obssessed nontheless. She now has quite the collection.

7) Gus had a blue scooter to get to school. It’s a bit old and shabby now but perfectly serviceable. However, Joni is getting a pink one for her birthday.

I don’t necessarily think these are brilliant parenting decisions but they are informed decisions of a parent who very much thinks of herself as a feminist. The thing is, these decisions in the most part are led by my kids. They, rightly or wrongly, are drawn to certain toys, colours, activities and I am not going to stop them just because they’re not the most “progressive” decisions. They are led by their own tastes, societies tastes and the tastes of their peers. While I am aware that forcing girls to wear pink and be obsessed with princesses vs boys wanting to be superheros and sportstars is just plain silly I think there has to be a compromise. Kids, for the most part, don’t want to feel apart from the “pack”. They like doing things their friends do and as parents, although we can try and influence their tastes and decisions I think it would be cruel to force them to do / be / wear things they don’t feel comfortable with.

Saying that, there are loads of ways I DO do gender neutral parenting well. My kids are growing up in a household where both parents have jobs, we both share all household tasks and childcare equally, we never tolerate “girls do/like this and boys like/do this”, we will bring them both up to treat everyone as an equal, Joni will be encouraged to do or be whatever she wants and I pray that the glass ceiling will at least be cracked when she gets there, Gus is taught that he can cry and be as emotional as he likes and never told to “man up” or “stop acting like a girl”.

And in lots of ways they reject stereotypes too….. they both completely love Lego and construction but they both love playing with the kitchen and food toys too. Gus wants to grow his hair long like his rocker Dad, loves drawing spends hours sitting quietly to do it and doesn’t give a monkeys that his male classmates all have short hair and love charging around playing sports. Joni, when recently faced with hand-me-down dress up clothes completely eschewed the fairy tutus and princess gowns and went straight for the lion outfit, and we’ve been hard pressed to get it off her since.

I think approaching parenting with a slightly different view to the “norm” is usually best done with common sense. Yes you could be brave / staunch in your approach … shave your kids head, refuse reveal their gender and expect the world to treat them neutrally but the reality is, the world can be cruel. It’s better to ease them into it than throw them in at the deep end, surely?

I asked a couple of bloggy friends for their examples of bad feminist parenting. For the most part, they put me to shame! They are actively giving two fingers up to stereotypes! Here are some of their contributions:
Sally from Bear andCardigan said: “I bought Bear a baby doll in pink for his Christmas present. He chose blue wellies and a blue football from all those available.”
Ceri from ContentMum said: “I bought Fred a dustpan and brush.. Picked the bloody blue one didn't I?!!! (Yes, I like my 14 month old to do chores!)”
Vicky from EarthBased Fun said: “I often used to put Dylan in tights when baby wearing and I’d always get comments from folk horrified a boy was wearing tights, but hey it keeps them warm!”
Ojo from Ojo’sWorld said: “My middle son, a few years ago, was browsing the Argos catalogue. He looked at toys for himself, then power tools for daddy. Then he says 'ooh mam, I found stuff for you?' I enquire what it was, his answer: 'I dunno, kitchen stuff' Gender neutral does not exist in this house, I'm afraid 😂”

But I absolutely love this, Jo from First Time Valley Mum: “ I let Z pick My Little Pony toys after he had his teeth out 😂 he also walked around for weeks with a doll. My husband hated it!”

What are your feminist parenting fails and wins? I need to know I am not alone in the struggle! Please comment / Tweet or FB me yours!  

Admissions Of A Working Mother

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Why We Love Autumn. Do YOU?

I sometimes think that autumn is the most exciting time of year. Crazy assumption, right? The fuss that we make over Christmas in winter… or even the downright pointless but nevertheless giddying hope that we have anticipating a warm, dry summer…or even a HEAT WAVE!!!! Do kids these days even know what a hosepipe ban IS?! I think in this country especially, that’s probably a big part of why we love the arrival of autumn. Summer in the UK these days is just so goddamn disappointing. Rain, rain and more rain. Dull, grey days, wind. Interspersed with a few nice days here and there. Possibly a one day heat wave bringing a big surge of hope that it’ll stick around only to wake to gale force ten battering your windows the following morning.

Of course there are (crazy) people who aren’t fussed on whether or not we have a hot summer. Fair people don’t like the sun because it means they have to cover up or stay in the shade, larger people don’t enjoy excessive sweating, unnecessary skin (flab) exposure, inner thigh chaffing and feeling faint if you stand too long in the sun. Written from my own experience by the way. The amount of times I’ve tried to discreetly wipe the top lip sweat from my face upon arrival ANYWHERE in the summer. And MOST people hate flies and wasps. City centres always reek of dried, sickly bin juice smells in the heat and ain’t nobody got time for those members of society who haven’t been introduced to deodorant. Especially on crowded public transport. So they LOVE the turn of the season.

I will say a quick note here about London. It has higher temperatures than the rest of the country. And it really does make a difference. I grew up in London and my summers of the 80s WERE always a lot warmer than the damp-fests I endure in rainy Cardiff. So while they might well have experienced a few months of fairly clement whether, the rest of us might not. The difference of 3-5 degrees is pretty significant. So whilst we’re feeling a rather cool 18-19 degrees, London will quite often be 22°, 23° or even 25°. And so then all we hear in the media is how we’ve all been “going crazy in the heat wave”, followed by some business types eating lunch with their trousers rolled up in some central park, whilst the rest of the country goes about its grey, damp day with their hoody zipped right up to their noses.

It’s like autumn gives us an excuse to stop all the false hope and expectation of glorious sunshine. It feels like a relief. We can look forward to something more real and predictable. Cool weather, darker nights, crunchy leaves, spicy autumn smells, bonfires and root vegetable stews. And it's so beautiful...all those reds, oranges, golds and browns! Autumn heralds a time where we can feel cosy and safe. We can rug up. Wear cardies, boots and scarves. Cwtch up on a sofa with a good book / Netflix and larger glass of red and not feel guilty that you should be outside enjoy this week’s ten minutes of sun.

It’s also the start of “holiday season”. Hallowe’en is rapidly becoming as big over here as it is in the States. I know lots of people get cross about the commercialisation of things like Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day. I actually don’t mind it. I love embracing seasonal things. I love celebrating what’s around now and being “present”. That has stemmed from my experience of anxiety and the need to be mindful and embrace the NOW. But it’s more than just that. I love the tradition of Hallowe’en. It’s comforting to do things in a cyclical way. So I enjoy the run up to it with carving pumpkins and swedes, then setting up the apple bobbing and donuts on strings and dressing up like scary loonies. What’s wrong with having another thing to celebrate? We don’t do trick or treating but again I love the community buzz on that night with processions of funny little monsters and witches stomping around the neighbourhood and coming to get sweets. And of course my kids get to stuff their faces with them too. It’s a lovely time of year.

Right I am off to make a hot chocolate, grab my toasty socks and stick on re-runs of the The Gilmore Girls. Who’s with me?

Petite Pudding

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The Blogger Tag for #Vlogstars

Hello! I have once again joined in the #Vlogstars linky run by Aby & Amy and this month it was The Blogger Tag, questions all about blogging....hoorah! So if you want to know more about my PROCESS as a blogger (yes I am aware this makes me sound like a poncey method actor!) then click and learn! If you want to join in, I've copied the questions below and if you click the pic at the bottom it will take you to the original linky for you to join in the fun. 

In the meantime, watch, share and have fun. 

Oh and I am a bit drunk. #sorrynotsorry. 

The questions:

1. Where Do You Blog?

2. Where Do You Find Inspiration For Your Blog Posts?

3. How Long Does It Take You To Write a Blog Post?

4. Do You Plan Your Blog Posts? How?

5. What Kind of Camera Do You Use? What Editing Program?

6. Do You Use a Notebook To Track Your Ideas?

7. How Do You Take Your Pictures?

8. What’s Your Favourite Type of Blog Post to Write?

9. Who Knows About Your Blog?

10. Are You an Organised or a Messy Blogger?

11. Biggest Blogging Pet Peeve?

You Baby Me Mummy
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