Reaching new heights with tights

Despite my outwardly liberal persona I love nothing more than a grubby little wallow on the Daily Mail online site – I’m always particularly taken with the ‘celeb’ stories in the right hand column.
Anyway the secret’s out so I can joyously share with you the most brilliant ‘celeb’ story on there for a while. It appears the lovely, down to earth, just like the rest of us, mother, Gwyneth Paltrow has taken up ariel yoga. Yes, that’s right, basically all the fun of yoga while being hoisted a few feet of the ground.
Now sometimes I can be accused of adding histrionics to my daily mummy/work balance, of, perhaps, embellishing my daily struggles with comedy (of sorts) and a little drama. BUT, never have I thought to myself: “Ok, let’s hang upside down in what can only be described as a large pair of tights.”
It’s the perfect example of celeb mummys having too much time on their hands. According the report hanging in these silk hammocks increases blood flow and stretches the spine. According to me it’s yet more proof that no matter what we do, how hard we work and however many life-enhancing seminars we attend there is always someone somewhere taking it to another level.
On a more serious note it’s frightening to think there is a whole money-making machine playing on our desires to find the answer, the solution. Whether that’s hanging upside down in some tights or spending hundreds of pounds on bespoke party bags for your children’s birthday party.
While they are clearly two very different transactions, they are both born out of a world where, women in particular, face an ever-increasing battle to have it all. We’re reaching new depths (or heights), and part of me can’t help but hope there will be some kind of implosion leaving us…wait for it… happy with our lot. When yoga is just yoga and parties end with some cake and a few stickers.
Anyway, I’m off for another surreptitious read -apparently there’s a new craze in karaoke zumba.

Me and my boy We made the move this week from high chair to booster seat – it was rather seamless. We’ve been using the Munchkin travel booster seat and it’s been fantastic.

Loving my new chair!

Loving my new chair!

It folds away into a bag which means you can take it out and about with enough room for nappies, a drink and wipes so no need to lug another bag around with you.
Arthur can be a bit picky when it comes to where he sits but he sat in his new seat with no problems and it’s genuinely so easy to unfold and attach to the seat. Just a simple strap underneath and another around the chair so not too fiddly when you’re out and about. We used it while out for lunch and it fitted fine in two restaurants, including Pizza Express and another local pub. It also has legs you can use which fold up into the bag so it has two heights. Although there were three of us, it was so easy I feel confident I’d be able to use it on my own when we’re out for lunch.
For such a compact chair it was very sturdy and I feel happy Arthur was safe and not going to wriggle out. All in all a really good buy, great value for money with the added bonus of being a travel version so making life out and about a little easier.

My beautiful friend – thinking of you.

A few months ago one of my oldest friends came back into my life. I found her after her name had been in the newspaper and whispered among mutual friends. Hello my beautiful, courageous, totally lost friend.

We met again and she told me about her amazing children, their lovely family home, her new baby boy and how her daughter Maisie had committed suicide at the age of 14.
It’s been a year today since she did it and the pain she feels is still raw to the touch. There is an unending supply of guilt and what ifs. No matter how many people tell her what a fab mum she is – and she really is – it doesn’t matter because her baby died in a way which leaves questions, many moments of unanswered agony and a sense of helpless disbelief which runs through her family, friends and beyond.

I remember Maisie as a baby and a toddler, a beautiful fuzzy-haired little angel adored by her mummy. I remember my friend and her unending ability to be an amazing mum without an equally amazing dad. Even in their tiny, slightly grotty first flat, she filled it to the brim with love and laughter.

I didn’t see her for years and she had three more babies in that time. When I’ve told people about her they’ve been shocked and saddened and said: “ Oh how terrible, thank god she has more children.” Yes her children have been a massive blessing and I’m sure they’ve helped her through but they’re not Maisie.

When I first went to her house when we met up again she talked openly about the dreadful day. She’d found her. It is beyond words. About the paramedics and her realisation Maisie was dead. She told me about the scene, reliving each moment as if she was trying to find the missing pieces of puzzle, the answers she needed. I read Maisie’s adolescent letters, so similar to teenagers all over the world, no obvious anger, misery or depression. I cried because I didn’t know what else to do. But she didn’t and I pulled myself together quickly.

My dear, dear friend, you are amazing, and forever changed. I have no doubt you will always be seeking answers, as we all would. If I could make you a medal from all the good wishes and love I’ve witnessed for you it would be the most amazing thing you’d ever seen.

xx

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Cakes through letterboxes – crazy I hear you say!

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to be whisked away for dinner, presented with a beautiful bouquet and wined and dined by the one you love. So, as this was never going to happen to me, I indulged in a few products I’ve been sent to review – lovely little moments of Valentine’s bliss that needed no involvement from others.Firstly I had a rather lovely delivery through the door from Baker Days. In my version of Utopia, cake, chocolate and possibly cheese will be calorie-free and laden with free-radicals. To have it delivered through my door with no requirement to actually go and get it is simply the icing on the cake – please excuse the terrible pun.

valentine1valentine3The Baker Day cake was delivered by post in a lovely metal tin which I will definitely be using again. It’s so simple to order too, just go online and choose your size, theme and message. Oh and of course the flavour you’d like.I had the double chocolate Valentines ‘Love Birds’ cake in letterbox size. It tasted gorgeous and was just enough to share between two – or I presume there would have been enough for two had I any intention of sharing it. The design looked great and made me smile, two owls having a hoot! A really sweet little surprise to send to someone and I was pleased with how good the design looked when I opened it.

Prices start from £14.99 and the cakes cover loads of occasions from Christenings to birthdays and congratulations. They come in various sizes and you can even send in your own photo to be used – obviously not all sizes can be delivered through the letterbox.

I also had some lovely goodies from Asda to pamper myself. Cute little fizzy bath bombs for £2 and a rather yummy chocolate red rose for just £1 - what a lovely idea! I must admit I ate the rose in break-neck speed but did take a bit more time over a leisurely bath – the fizzy bombs smelt lovely and made a great change to bubble bath.

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Yummy chocolate rose for just £1

 Once again Asda come up trumps with easy ways to mark the day without breaking the bank. I’ve become a huge fan because they genuinely makes things accessible for everyone and they always seems to be quick to pick up trends and run with them with their own unique and very appealing price point.

 

 
On another note – I’ve been watching the Bugaboo Cameleon 3 film staring Molly. It’s extremely stylish just like you’d expect from Bugaboo and I love the way it shows a buggy through the eyes of the little person inside it. Take a look – you never know, all this amorous Valentine’s shenanigans may mean you’ll be looking for a new buggy soon!

Train sets and stereotypes

This was the scene that greeted me when I walked into the house on Sunday.

 

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Tents and dens; strings and poles, a flurry of little and big boy activity that, quite simply, was a foreign language to me. I love how Arthur has carved out a world of trains and trucks for himself and he’s absolutely obsessed with his train track and begs the big little boy to build it for him at every possible moment.

But it’s something I watch from the sidelines, I can’t make the train track very well and get totally bamboozled by the bridges and stations that have to be factored in. I’m not brilliant at building Megablock towers either. Is it nature or nurture that makes my little boy so staunchly male in his choice of play? I don’t think his dad has forced these things onto him, yet I have to admit I haven’t exactly showered him with dolls and tea sets either.

As a child I never liked dolls, and was most happy playing outside mixing mud cakes and making rose petal perfume – with my younger brother I might add. I had a Cindy house but quite simply thought it was a ridiculous waste of time and effort. I would prefer to read a good book.

It’s an age old question and one I’m not going to attempt to answer. But it’s one that shapes our relationships and the time we spend with our children. With me Arthur loves, reading, singing and silly games. With daddy it’s all about building, vehicles and exploring outside. We’ve fallen, quite easily, into this pattern. It’s shaping his view of the world and maybe I should be doing more to erase these stereotypical roles but quite frankly they work for us.

But occasionally, I get to peek into their world, just to dance on the edges of their boy time, ready and waiting to pounce with a book and a piece of mummy’s homemade cake. Maybe, if I have another baby, it will be a girl and she’ll love trucks and trains too. Maybe the things you love are intrinsically linked to the people you love.