Tuesday, 10 May 2016

It's All White on Instagram

Lots of lovely Instagram accounts. At first it seems like the heavy hitters on Instagram are all "white" - I mean interiors etc... not skin colour by the way. But dig deeper and you see so so much more. I have been on an exploration of late (as I spend so many hours breastfeeding on the sofa) and here below is just a sample of what I have found.

My own personal favourite of mine before I share the others, is this one:


Be warned once you start looking at the below accounts you go down a rabbit hole of similar accounts and you may need rescuing to get out, or you may just find you've lost a few hours. It's aspirational and meditative. Inhaling the simple slow life.

As of today I think my favourite account has to be Surprised by Five - this *new* account is from the Mamma that has just had 5 babies, conceived naturally:



One of my favourites is @wellettas and this Babble article explains why 










A photo posted by Cassidy Compton (@cascompton) on






Baby yawns are the very sweetest- I've been feeling the fatigue these past couple days. 🌸Maribell Primrose and I took a nice new moon bath this evening, and it was lovely- she's a very grateful bather. ✨🌑✨ Did you know this new moon in Taurus is the third super moon in a row? And that Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are all in retrograde? I was just reading about it at @mysticmamma: "The Taurus New Moon means for you is love you and your gifts. This love lasts. Taurus reveals your talents and gifts. These abilities you want to leverage in this life. This is the gold within you. This is what will make you happy." ✨Some of the gold that makes me happy is to love my gift of Motherhood.✨// This photo was taken by @angelinaaaalopez who lovingly documented our last postpartum herb bath together ✨🌑✨
A photo posted by ⚘Nico⚘ (@ozarkmamadeer) on





Parenthood... 💤☕️Do you know those moments when your biggest dream is a cup of tea while watching your favorite series? In silence. Without worrying that the little one will bite off the cable. And - in the most perfect world - after a night full of sleep? This week was kind of tough: I had to get my thesis ready for printing and travel half of the country to get ready for the PhD defense together with this angel, who seemed to have a mental leap on top of all. And even though my body is now screaming for some rest, I wouldn't want to change a thing in our hectic life. Do you know the feeling? #BabyVsCoffee ||| Фото из серии "кто кого" 💪🏽 Бывают моменты, когда хочется просто посмотреть любимый сериал с чашкой чая, которую никто не опрокинет на ноутбук, а ещё не придётся беспокоиться о том, что кто-то перегрызёт провод от зарядки. Прошлая неделя была сумасшедшей, пришлось готовить диссер к печати, а потом проехать полстраны в универ вместе с маленькой, у которой, похоже, был очередной скачок роста. Так что теперь мой организм кричит об отдыхе, но не тут-то было: на следующей неделе желанные гости и подготовка к защите. И всё же я ни на что не променяла б эти заботы. Знакомы такие чувства?
A photo posted by Madina (@thesematters) on



A photo posted by Madina (@thesematters) on


okay...maybe I am overdoing it with the sleeping baby on your feed, 🙈 but how can I not? I can't do anything apart from going back and forth between all the possible angles trying to make memories while she small😀 I have everything I could ask for on this beautiful spring morning: my family, peace, tranquility, sound of singing birds. Staring at the clear blue sky and admiring the beauty of the earth. It all makes me close my eyes and take it all in (including sip of coffee). What a good reason to say "thank you" prayer to our creator.  Да я знаю бесконечная спящая малютка в маем Инстаграм. Ну ничего с этим поделать не могу. День просто замечательный и настроение супер. Наслаждаюсь тишиной пока Авия в видение сладких снов. Я очень люблю Апрель и Май, природа в этот период проста божественна. Прикосновение весны в воздухе затаило дыхание во мне. Может потому что именно сегодня я поняла что наступила весна. Именно сегодня я хочу быть особо благодарной Богу за то что он для нас придумал этот сказочный мир.
A photo posted by Mayya (@mayyabor) on


A photo posted by Hailey DeRoo Haugen (@mynorthernstory) on



A photo posted by @thisisjules on





A photo posted by Bri Heiligenthal (@burtsbrisplease) on



A photo posted by Bri Heiligenthal (@burtsbrisplease) on



A photo posted by Jessica Shyba (@mommasgonecity) on

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Room DVD - Homework for All Parents

If you haven't watched a film in a long time, even if the last one you saw *was* Room at the cinema, then you need to see it on DVD.

I didn't get to see it at the cinema, so grabbed the chance to watch a test copy on DVD a fortnight ago, prior to its imminent retail release next week.

Now that is a movie right there! I think all parents should watch it. It got me on so many levels. It's hard to know what to say here as I don't want to include any spoilers, as I had somehow managed to get as far as April 2016 without hearing any and it truly meant that I thoroughly enjoyed the film as did my husband. He's a bit of a boffin when it comes to movies. Knows the name of all actors, knows his way around IMDB etc etc but he was blown away!!!

We both agreed that although Brie Larson did deserve her Oscar, it is Jack (Jacob Tremblay) who carries the weight of the film. If she is the egg, he is the yolk. He can't BE a yolk without her as the white and the shell, but he is the nucleus of the film. Think of Macaulay Culkin and THEN SOME. Think of Haley Joel Osment - no I didn't know his name either till just now, but all I need say is "I see dead people"... Still don't get it? He was the star of The Sixth Sense.

Except Jacob Tremblay (Jack in "Room") out-acts both of them put together and gives a performance that is so tender, so innocent, so childlike, that you completely forget he is acting. He plays the part of a spirited 5 year old boy and I have one of them myself, which probably certainly added to the depth of emotion this film brought about in me. I've just seen though that he was born in 2006 not 2010 like my Aaron.
Do not watch this film without tissues!
Do not watch it when you are half focused on something else!
Don't watch it at bedtime thinking you'll watch half now and half another time as you won't be able to stop watching.
Do not watch it alone - you may need a hug.
Do not watch it with your children - it's a certificate 15!

Do watch it with someone who hasn't seen it before because then through them you can relive the bits that are moving, shocking, tender, poignant, touching and heart breaking. I will soon watch it for the 2nd time but hope to feel all those things once again.

I loved it so much I plan on having all the PTA ladies over to watch it with me. It is such an amazing film that I thought the whole world except me had seen it, but no, none of them have heard of it, so I can't wait to see what they think.

You get to see the world through Jack's eyes and it really reminds me of Aaron's younger years and even now when something is entirely new to him. I was still hormonal from having my newborn a few weeks ago when I watched it, so the movie really moved me. I look at her when she is soaking something in, like, literally, she hasn't seen the WORLD before. Like today when she couldn't get enough of looking at a simple thing like a blue sky. Like when she meets people and realises that there are people... in the... world... other than Mummy and Daddy.

The movie and the mother and son's relationship is breathtaking in its innocence. What it shows you about character and motherhood. She still breastfeeds him at 5 years old. I only breastfed Aaron till 13 months, but he sat on my knee to have a bottle (with a teet) till he was 5. Plus I am now breastfeeding my baby girl, so I saw the tenderness (of the nursing) between them even though the film does not at all make a point of it... well till much later when he can't have mother's milk anymore and you realise that's what all the clothes tugging was about. What she protects him from is unbelievable, but then we all protect our children don't we.

Room tells the extraordinary story of Jack (Jacob Tremblay), a spirited 5-year-old who is looked after by his loving and devoted mother (Brie Larson). Like any good mother, Ma dedicates herself to keeping Jack happy and safe, nurturing him with warmth and love and doing typical things like playing games and telling stories. Their life, however, is anything but typical--they are trapped--confined to a 11-by-11-foot space that Ma has euphemistically named Room. Ma has created a whole universe for Jack within Room, and she will stop at nothing to ensure that, even in this treacherous environment, Jack is able to live a complete and fulfilling life. But as Jack's curiosity about their situation grows, and Ma's resilience reaches its breaking point, they enact a risky plan to escape, ultimately bringing them face-to-face with what may turn out to be the scariest thing yet: the real world.
Now I didn't even know ^ that much when I watched it. But there are no spoilers there so phew!
STUDIOCANAL is delighted to announce the DVD and Blu-Ray release of the multi award winning ROOM on May 9th 2016. Directed by Academy Award® nominated Lenny Abrahamson (Frank) with a screenplay by Emma Donoghue that she adapted from her best-selling novel, ROOM stars Brie Larson (Kong: Skull Island, Free Fire), Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen (The Bourne Ultimatum), William H. Macy (Fargo) and Sean Bridgers (Trumbo), ROOM is one of the most highly acclaimed films of the year.
Winner: ‘Best Actress’ Academy Award®, 
BAFTA, Golden Globe.

Also nominated for a further three Academy Awards,
two Golden Globes and one BAFTA.

“Brie Larson is nothing short of perfect in this heart-breaking, life affirming drama
brilliantly directed by Lenny Abrahamson.”

The Observor‘Wondrous, magical and uplifting...an extraordinary film’

Metro‘Powerful and hugely affecting’
 
Heat
***** Total Film ***** The Observer ***** The Times 
*****The Daily Mail
**** Empire **** The Guardian **** The Independent

RETAIL EXTRAS:
  • Audio Commentary with Director Larry Abrahamson
  • ‘Making of’ featurette
  • ‘Eleven by Eleven’ featurette
  • ‘Cast & Crew’ featurettes
118mins / Cert: 15

Out on DVD and Blu Ray on 9th May 2016.

Oh and since I started talking to people about this movie all I hear now is how good the book is. So that is the next job on the list. To read the book and I always love to do it that way round. The movie and THEN the book :-)

WIN A COPY RIGHT HERE:

This post has been listed in the linky over at Super Lucky Di's for blog competitions with closing dates in May 2016. Take a look via this button:
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”U






Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Mills and Boon Releases The Art of Romance | Over 40 Book Covers for Adults to Colour In


Mills and Boon is celebrating over 100 years of its iconic books and of course that includes their covers.

In celebration they have released an adult colouring book ‘The Art of Romance’ which I have been lucky enough to receive last week to review.
I couldn't help but notice that the book will be officially  released on 5th May 2016 which is my Mum's birthday so after completing the below page - rather brightly - to start her off I have actually today posted the colouring book to my Mum. Why?!?!? Well because it was through her copies of Mills and Boon that I got introduced to the iconic books. Those and Jackie Collins. Two, because my Mum no longer works after decades of being a career woman with long hours and a long commute. She retired to Ireland in my final year of University and one of her main vices now, other than the fags, is reading. She reads a couple of books a week and is a regular at her local library. I wanted to find her a new hobby to have alongside her reading and this opportunity fell into my lap. I hope she takes to it. Oh and that brings me onto a 3rd reason to send it to her. It was she, my Mum who taught ME to colour in when I was little, so it's now come full circle, such is the circle of life and now I am giving her a nudge. Just posting the book and a birthday card cost me £6.60 so I didn't put in a pack of felt tip pens but she will need them.

I was using Aaron's crayons and felt tips to do the above, hence the use of mainly primary colours, but if you had one of those huge sets with various SHADES of various colours wow you could do a mighty job altogether. Both at the front and the back of the colouring book they give you examples of how they could be coloured in:
As you can see from the covers on the right and the example on the left, below (printed in the back of the colouring book) the colours are quite muted which is why I thought it would be fun to do my bright version.
I can't wait to see which angle my Mum goes for - bright or muted. She can't draw for toffee (my Auntie Berniece taught me that) but *is* very good with colours and home interiors, so I think this book will put her in touch with her creative side, which is so important for us to foster as humans. I remember my Mum's colouring in being fabulous when I was little. I hope this book gets her a bit nostalgic. I hope she thinks it's a touching present.

I was asking myself, is sending this to her the right thing (I posted it today as her birthday is 5th May, the same day the colouring book is released) and I asked for a sign. Turned the page and boom! Look below
My Mum was born in the Marian year and her name is unusually spelled Marion. Plus the book will get there by airmail and I always fly there via Ryanair!

Yes, she will most certainly LOVE this colouring in book. Being in the West of Ireland in the countryside she may not know about the recent trend for adult colouring in but I will bring her up to speed. She LOVES knowing something is trendy.

Over the course of more than 100 years Mills and Boon has  documented the history of romance, evolution of fashion and social change from the 1900s to the present day. The book: The Art of Romance features 47 cover illustrations to colour in, alongside year-by- year facts, quotes and memories to give social history and context.


The Art of Romance celebrates over 100 years of the publisher’s most iconic covers, taking the reader back to key moments in history from the austere war years, the birth of a royal baby, the swinging sixties and even the rise of the rom-com in the noughties.

Perfect for fans of art, fashion and vintage culture, The Art of Romance charts the history of romance in the 20th Century, featuring quotes, facts and snippets of information about what was happening in the world when each story and associated cover were created.

The Art of Romance launches as the wave of adult colouring books continues to sweep the UK. The trend shows no signs of slowing down with experts 1 hailing colouring as a great way to exercise mindfulness and distress. Lisa Milton, Harlequin Executive Publisher, elaborates: “Colouring is a wonderful way to relax and be creative; there’s something very nostalgic and comforting about it. The Art of Romance takes you on a fantastic journey back in time, remembering what romance was like when your grandparents met or even when you had your first kiss! With Mills & Boon’s beautiful artwork as inspiration, it is a wonderful way to unwind.”

She continues: “As a heritage brand, with our 108 year archive, we were spoiled for choice for covers to include within the book. In bringing together the vintage covers, snippets of social history and utterly fabulous fashions across the decades, I can’t think of a better way to tell the story of Mills and Boon than through The Art of Romance.”

The Art of Romance will be available to buy from www.millsandboon.co.uk and in all good bookshops from
May 5th 2016.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy for this review and will have a further one available for a giveaway. The giveaway will be added to this post tomorrow as we draw closer to the excitement of the book being released! 

WIN A COPY OF THE BOOK HERE:

To enter you  must do all three things: follow @NewMumOnline and @MillsandBoon on Twitter and send a  tweet. All three entry options are mandatory and all must be completed via the following Rafflecopter widget:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 


More competitions ending in May here, over at Super Lucky Di's blog linky for comps: 



SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

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Overhauling the Big Kid's Boy's Bedroom Once Again

It seems Aaron's boy's bedroom probably needs attention again. The walls are all blue, freshly painted last year, with Dulux's finest and not themed in any way, so it's not that it would need redecorating, but several other things are needed. It's quite soon to be thinking this *sigh* considering his room had a beautiful Thomas The Tank Engine makeover only last year.
If I focus my mind and think, the to-do list would be as follows.
  • MORE storage. Despite the storage purchased only last year we are back to needing MORE. A lot of his downstairs toys are in his room now and to be honest they don't have a home, so it is all too easy for him to really mess up the room, just because he is looking for something. So the words "go tidy your room" are already surfacing and I thought he'd be a teen when I'd hear that. He looked for Frustration and The Shopping List Game on Bank Holiday Monday and it was chaos. I then had to play each game 3 times. Luckily after being sad at losing to me on each game of Frustration, he was then the winner at each and every Shopping List Game. 
  • Better use of the existing storage. His bunk bed has a shelf running the length of each bed. Both of these need to be fully filled to really optimise the space. 
  • A wardrobe. I have an upper and a lower rail in my wardrobe and he, for 6 years has had the bottom rail (apart from PJs and under garments, all of his clothes are hung and always have been - part of my non ironing philosophy and it works). BUT now, I would quite like to use that lower rail for Lil Lady so it is time he gets a wardrobe of his own.
  • He has a bunkbed. One bed has robot bedlinen and the other has Thomas and Friends, but I think he is at a stage where he will grow out of both of those. I think he'd love Spiderman or dinosaurs now.
  • I'd love him to have a clock. He already has a Spiderman bedside lamp.
  • The big "job" that needs to be ticked off that doesn't require any shopping to be done, is he needs to settle in his room so that he can spend a whole night there. I think his best record is 8 p.m. till 2 a.m. If you, dear reader coslept with your child, how did you bring it to an end? After five years it is a hard habit to break, but I know will be fine once done as he is so emotionally secure thanks to baby wearing and cosleeping. He's an independent confident little boy and he doesn't suffer from nightmares or night terrors. He's probably had 4 nightmares in five years. Yeah, not many. Not many at all.
  • Oh and as he gets older he's going to require a desk too! Eeeek I hadn't even thought of THAT till now! Yikes! As a parent there's always something isn't there!
I'd always planned that he'd have the top bunk and lil lady would have the bottom but I think she will go in the 3rd bedroom when the time comes and I think his spare bunk will just be for when he has a cousin or friend over for a sleepover.
Aaron was in his cot for 6 months when he was born June 2010 but that Christmas he had a cold and was so congested I had to pace around the room with him and he'd always end up with me, so that he could be elevated and breathe. I never resettled him in his cot and then a five year journey of cosleeping begun. I haven't regretted a bit of it as when he wakes up in the night, he sees me and goes straight back to sleep so I tend to get a good night's sleep everynight, (I sleep anything from 8 to 12 hours a night) which was why having a newborn was a big shock. But even that is okay now, as she is in a bedside cot, which means I just reach across, breastfeed her and slide her back. Good nights she wakes twice and both times we doze as she feeds and go straight back to sleep after, so we wake feeling as if we've slept all night. There is the odd night, like last night, where she wakes more frequently. But it's literally not a bother when you have a bedside cot. When you can reach across immediately, their whimper doesn't build into a full cry plus I don't get woken by walking round the room. Only trouble is I do need to go to the loo at least once as breastfeeding requires a lot of water to be drunk!

I can't include a current picture of the bedroom as that wall above, that you see beautifully laid out with storage is now a wall of toys. A wall of toys I need to sort and find a home for. As if I don't have enough to do with my newborn. So I am back to shopping and browsing the internet, looking for all things bedroom. I am not the sort of person to spend hours/days on Pinterest, but the one time in my life I spent a great deal of time on there was actually when I was trying to get ideas for Aaron's room. My account is very unloved, so I don't benefit from web traffic from there as other bloggers who make an effort with that platform do. But Instagram on the other hand! Now that I do love. But some bloggers DO actually genuinely like Pinterest. For me, keeping it alive would require a lot of effort. Effort I would rather spend on the blog and my other love, you tube.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

A Fabulous Family Day at At-Bristol Science Centre

We had a fabulous - educational - day at At-Bristol on Sunday and I wanted to share it with you. As is the way nowadays, this is easiest done through the medium of Vlogging as then you can virtually experience what we did.
So I don't need to say much, as the whole thing is captured on film. Editing it took far too long as I had 66 clips of footage........ yikes. Choosing the music took a long time too, but we now have it for posterity and I do so love watching our videos back. After all, home movies pre-date You Tube and kids always want to be able to look back at their childhoods.

So without further ado, here is the Vlog :-)

Oh and in other news, my Lil Lady turned 3 months old yesterday (but this pic was taken today) :-)

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Summer is Here... Well Nearly

Clean windowsill and flinging open the windows and blinds
My sparkly windowsill as I quickly embark on some Spring cleaning. Loving opening the windows!
It is my firm belief that Summer Solstice is high Summer or Midsummer rather than the start of Summer and I am really glad to have found some content that agrees with me. A quick Google and I found this:
Although the June solstice marks the first day of astronomical summer, it's more common to use meteorological definitions of seasons, making the solstice midsummer or midwinter. Read more here: http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/june-solstice.html
It makes sense to me for so many reasons. One, on the odd day, or sometimes just odd hours in a day, it's starting to FEEL like Summer. Also, two, in Pagan traditions 1st Feb is classed as the first day of Spring. If you therefore class a season as three months, that means Summer starts at the beginning of May, making the Solstice the height of it. Third, the evenings draw in from the Summer Solstice onwards, meaning it is the longest day. The start of something wouldn't see a decline would it? No! So intuitively you can guess that of course Solstice is the height of Summer just like it is the height in our hours of daylight! Yes, see you are agreeing with me now!

Also, there is a misconception that Summer Solstice is always 21st June when in reality it can vary from 20-22nd June. 2016 it will be on 21st though. I used to always spend Summer Soltice practicing yoga, usually in a really spiritual place like Glastonbury for example, but for the last 5 years I have spent it at BritMums Live (Cybermummy in 2011). This year it is on Saturday 25th June and I am yet to buy a ticket. It's a one day event now and I just popped on their snazzy new website (is it new? Looks it to me) and saw that there is a fringe drinks night the night before. Looks like I have some organising to do and a sponsor to seek.

So, astronomers class Summer Solstice as the start of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Meteorologists though, instead of agreeing with me that it starts at the beginning of May, consider the start of Summer as 1st June. I am glad to hear that many cultures have Midsummer celebrations on Summer Solstice confirming my view that it is indeed high Summer :-)

I'm REALLY looking forward to spending Summer as a family of four and seeing what my baby girl makes of it.
Taken yesterday when she spent an evening in the garden watching her brother play on the swings.
Her routine now is that she ALWAYS falls asleep on the afternoon school run so as I type this she is asleep. Ordinarily she stays asleep in the buggy but as I had her, yesterday and today in the Oyster Lite stroller instead of the pram, both days she has woken up when we get in. So I have breastfed her back to sleep and she is cosy on my knee right now. She's happy there and I am happy to have her there so I am typing this with the background noise of Aaron saying "when is dinner?". I don't feel sorry for him though as he ALWAYS has a sandwich crisps and a drink on the way home from school.

Again, I am sorry I did not blog/vlog enough during my pregnancy or the 12 weeks past since birth, but I am back on the horse now and have even put a video compilation together of her first 4 weeks. It was meant to cover her first 12 weeks to make me current and up to date, but it was long enough as it was and already took me 12 hours to edit. See what you think: