Saturday, 28 February 2015

Let's Dish The Dirt Shall We? #NewsMumOnline

It's time for #NewsMumOnline again, and for the second time in a row, it's a blogging focus rather than a mainstream news focus, but then you did enjoy the last one right?!?!?! :-)

So, this time, it's all about dishing the dirt, because there's a lot of honking going on. Honking bodies, honking from home, and honking house cleaning. There's so much honking going on, that Mummy Bloggers have been in the Daily Fail THREE TIMES recently.

In case you've missed all or any of them, it's my job to bring you up to speed ;-)

So first up, Pippa from Story of Mum is giving some leverage to #HonkFromHome so that it's not all about that Wembley Danceathon #TeamHonkDanceathon. Pippa started #MyKidsDressedMe 

So what actually happened?
  1. First up, Pippa was inspired by Summer Bellessa with this post: I let my toddler dress me for a week here's what happened
  2. So she did this Facebook post with photographic evidence of her doing same.
  3. Due to the support it received from lovely comments from Story of Mum fans, it all kind of took off from there.
  4. Pippa tweeted and it was kind of nailed when @EmmaFreud said "brilliant idea. We need to get the whole country doing this".
  5. Then Pippa blogged about it here: Would you let your child choose what you wear for charity
  6. Then it became a thing!
  7. It went in the Cornish Man except it's a Cornish wo-Man in this instance ;-)
  8. And then it went into the Daily Fail: Cornish Mother starts global fashion craze and the rest is history. 
  9. Except the reason my blog post title of "dish the dirt" applies here, is because the Daily Fail COMMENTS are quite frankly heartless, so I have red arrowed down all the nasty ones, green arrowed up the few nice ones and commented myself. If you've read this far, can you do the same please and tip the balance in favour of nice humans? Thanks in advance!
  10. If you LOVE Comic Relief and Team Honk but can't make Wembley then you really must #HonkFromHome and what better way to do it than with #MyKidsDressedMe ;-) You'll have fun and so will your children. Plus the most important thing is that you and your friends send THE text. Your pics hashtagged with #MyKidsDressedMe may even end up on the live BBC show!!!!
Hey, they EVEN have a POSTER (which Jo designed), which couldn't be clearer. Now you know what to do:

So next #NewsMumOnline blogger story. These ladies say that they don't honk, but you can make up your own mind. See who you recognise from this Daily Fail story: Can you guess which of these women only shower once a week? I personally spy at least two well known bloggers amongst them.


Favourite *honk* quotes from the article:

I pass one of my son’s wet flannels under each armpit before giving my arms, hands, face and intimate area a cursory once over. Then I’m ready for the school run.
Tempered by:
It may sound grim, but I can assure you I don’t smell, as my husband — who has a shower every other morning — will attest.
Next honker:
But after I’ve put them to bed, I rarely bath or shower myself, despite being covered in as much mashed banana and yogurt as they are.
Tempered by:
Deodorant and dry shampoo are my saviours and my straight, dark brown hair looks the same whether I wash it or not. No one has ever said I smell, but then I work from home, so there is no one to offend. My children certainly don’t complain.
The commenters were ruthless but amongst the kinder ones was this one:
brian r, great bookham, 2 days ago
a dermatologist will tell you NOT to shower or bath every day as it depletes the covering of natural oils that help defend the skin from the weather
So perhaps these ladies can also #HonkFromHome or perhaps they already are ;-) *jokes*.

Third up and finally, how clean is YOUR house. Mine is quite nice thank you very much, but then that wasn't always the case. At one point I stopped hoovering and stopped tidying because for a couple of years, as a toddler, Aaron was JUST LIKE THIS.
If only I had the good sense and foresight to video Aaron being like that, except I was too frazzled and frustrated by it. It meant I couldn't have people over and often meant I escaped the house to stop having to look at it. 5 million people have watched the above You Tube video, but FIFTY million have watched it on Facebook, according to the Dail Fail (yes this blog post is three times over Daily Fail focused, #SorryNotSorry). The Daily Mail article is here: Why Mums Really Never Get Anything Done. I hate though that they don't use the You Tube video! (1) it meant it took me AGES to find it and (2) it means people don't click through and increase her views, which seems mean of the Mail considering they are benefiting in page views from HER story so surely they should reciprocate. Or tell me, am I wrong? Can YOU navigate to her or her video from that article? I couldn't! Nor to her Facebook page.............

Anyway, this bringeths the end of this #NewsMumOnline article. If you have enjoyed it, you can thank me by sponsoring me. After all I too will HONK after dancing for 6 hours in the #TeamHonkDanceathon in Wembley on Sunday 8th March.


Friday, 27 February 2015

Spring has Sprung in the UK February 2015

I thought that Imbolc and St Bridget's Day would herald the start of Spring and they sort of did. I have lots of blue sky photos from the days before and after. As we felt the arrival of Spring in the air there were lots of smiles as our Winter hibernation (and flu) left us.
But despite the blue skies, longer evenings and increased sunlight, February for the most part has been frrrrrrreeeezing. Finally though Spring is now in full throttle and blooming eck, so are we...


This Wednesday despite us always going straight home from school, Aaron insisted on going to the park and we were there 90 minutes. This is a pic from Wednesday's visit:
Thursday, same deal, except it was 3 hours. Do you know how late it gets dark now? The evenings have REALLY lengthened. Wow, it might seem nice indoors but it starts to get cold. We were in the park straight from school at 15:15. By the end up my hands were frozen. I didn't have gloves with me. So cold was I, I got a coffee in the petrol station on the way home by which time it was 18:15 and dark. The sun sets now at 17:48 so by the time we walked home it was pitch black. I had to stay in there to drink the first half to defrost, but we did have a blast before the evening chill set in, and you can get an insight into that in our video below.


It's quite common for us to stay in the park till dark. Because Aaron only started school this September gone, and his nursery sessions (at his last nursery) started at 13:00, we were often in the park late. It's how we roll :-)

Here you go.
I'd love you to watch, like and subscribe if you can, pretty please :-)



So #CountryKids we are BACK............!

I didn't get off the hook tonight either, we went back in the park for the 3rd day in a row. Thankfully Daddy was off, so I persuaded Aaron to go after an hour instead of staying there till it got dark.

Also, we're back on the bikes. In the footage above you can see Aaron's with two boys. Well he had to keep borrowing their scooter and the older brother's bike, so despite walking to and from school since Christmas, Aaron insisted on cycling to school today, so he wouldn't be caught short again.

So today, we had the bikes with us in the park, but sadly Aaron's mate did not come out to play today, but thankfully, tonight was Friday, so the playground was full of play mates, as I guess people are less concerned about bath and bedtime when there's no school tomorrow. One of them was even a school friend so Aaron was overjoyed. 

It's WONDERFUL to be back outdoors again. We've really been tucked up in the warm for quite some time - so unlike us - so happy to be participating in #CountryKids once again *waves*

In case anyone is reading this, and thinking "we continued to go to the park throughout Winter" - I totally relate. There have been Winters where we have done too. Just not this one!

But the Spring has Sprung feeling is definitely palpable, like for example, when all of the kids spilled out of class today instead of walking along the path towards the exit, in an orderly fashion with their parents, instead they all spilled onto the field. Literally like they could smell Spring in the air. Aaron went straight from his classroom today at pickup to this tree:
And then straight from there, on his bike, and to the park. I was sent Hotter Shoes, as they are sponsoring me (and a few others) for the #TeamHonkDanceathon. I wore them all day yesterday and found them not only comfortable but also springy. The springiness is unexpected as the sole is SO thin and So light but they live up to their claims. What's impressed me  the most though is how comfortable they are to cycle in. Now I know they wouldn't be for a true proper cyclist but I just do a mile and a half each way to school. It's not hardcore, but wow today it was. Muscles that have been dormant since December got a rude awakening, and it taught me I am in need of more MOVEMENT between now and the Danceathon if I am going to be able to dance for 6 hours!!! You can even watch it live on your tellybox on Sunday 8th March if you "press the red button".
The great thing about the park (as cold as it is) is that when there are other suitable playmates there, I do get chance to sit on a bench, and just breathe, as I am doing in the pic above. I hope I keep my Hotter Shoes that blue and perfect for as long as possible. This past 3 days the sky has been the same colour as them :-)

Spring's here folks:

So glad to be hooking up once again for the first time in months with #CountryKids click here for more inspiration to get outdoors:
 Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The Baby Show February 2015 - A Friday Afternoon at The Excel

The Baby Show is the place to see all things baby if you can't face trekking round all of the shops. All of the leading brands are there, but the icing on the cake is that up and coming brands are there too, giving the "not on the high street" surprise element, so that you get to meet lots of entrepreneurs. I'm so glad I went last Friday, 20th February. It was half term, so Aaron spent the day with Grandma and his favourite cousin. It was nice to have a "day off" after a busy week and then, after the Baby Show, I had a wonderful evening with my favourite Cousin and Aunt.
I last went to the Baby Show in 2010 when pregnant, and now 5 years later, there's definitely a lot more buggies there. Perhaps there are more on the market in general. The vast range on show is great if you are yet to choose one - it's the hardest Motherhood decision in my opinion. I'd get an idea of your taste before you go, as otherwise you'll be a bit overwhelmed, but there are so many on display, you'll learn what you do and don't like in a buggy! Personally, I got a travel system, which did me from birth to 3 years, although Aaron rarely went in it from age 2 to 3. It meant I did not need to upgrade to a stroller and I never needed a moses basket on wheels type buggy (what ARE they called?) as Aaron was 9 pounds 10 oz at birth so was good to go in a regular buggy.
The Baby Show's a friendly place for Mums, Dads, little ones and bumps. In fact I saw a creche on my way in, just outside the Press Office where I got my press pass. There are also heaps of experts there, as they do talks on stage. Plus a lot of the companies are run by parents, so they are a font of information too. If you've exhausted the ears of family, talking about your bump or baby, you'll have LOTS of fresh ears at the show. It's a great girlie day out. I saw lots of Mums with their Mums! There were a lot more Dads than 2010, which is a trend that's continuing apparently.

I took plenty of pics, and turned them into a slideshow that I could share with you. I hope you like my choice of soundtrack:
Aaron's outgrown buggies, bibs and baby bits, so I was looking around in a wistful way thinking what I might like for number two, should we be blessed. I'd love to say he's outgrown buggies, bibs and bottles, but we still have one of those - Sssshhhh don't tell anyone.

I stopped and chatted to whichever brands really grabbed me. As my slideshow above shows, the first of those was the Osbourne stand as we have a lot of their books, and I was/am considering being a seller.
I adored the layout of the Mr Mole Blankets stand, which really stopped me in my tracks so spent ages talking to the founder, where I took this video:
Their personalised baby blankets are beautiful. I love their passion. They made a hugely successful horse blankets business, and then sold it as they were busy with a young family. The blanket bug was clearly firmly in their system, as then 15 years ago they started their current business. Their passion is infectious, and the joy they have for it, is reflected in their product.

A few weeks ago I wrote about some products I bought at Holland and Barrett. One of those was Magnesium which made a huge difference to my health - namely that my muscle pains went and my nervous system benefited in that my normal personality came back. More patience, tolerance and calm! So when I saw the Donat MG stand, I had to stay and have a wee chat:
Hopefully I will get to review them in the coming weeks and then I can let you know if they achieve the same benefits that my Floradix Magnesium did. Timing's perfect as my liquid Magnesium is finished. I miss taking it, and getting that daily boost. Definitely think I was deficient in it. My gut instinct (pun intended) is good with knowing these things. You'll hear how I came to buy it, in the introduction on the video above.

I spent some time with the founder of Helper Bees, as I LOVE her concept. She describes it as a "Niche Nanny Agency" and is a qualified Pediatrician herself. She's seen firsthand the huge problems that are created if Mums are not coping. I'd not heard of the company before, but her smiling face as I passed, made me stop and ask what it was all about. Helping new mums, via a provided vetted Nanny, with those early days when you're frazzled. She even believes in Mums bonding exclusively with their babies, for the first 40 days while a "helper" does the chores. This is something big parts of the world do, and is a practice I personally honoured, due to my yoga background. I kept Aaron "indoors" for his first 40 days. It was June/July so of course we did go outside but NOT to public places, although I did have to take him to a breastfeeding counselling session and to have a tongue tie cut :-( It really benefits the baby to grow strength and a sense of security in the real world, before being inundated with everyone's energies.

In Kundalini Yoga we recommend that someone comes for those important first 40 days. I had my Mum fly over from Ireland for 9 weeks ha ha! It meant I could concentrate on Aaron and she did the laundry and a lot of the meals. When I fancied cooking, she took care of Aaron. It worked. Although we did get a little on top of each other.

As I do when I love a company, I speak to the founder. Here the Helper Bees lady explains what it's all about:
When I did finally decide to go, I'd put my camera away, and thought that was me done, but a wee slip of a lass, literally grabbed me, to explain the concept of her parent's nappy changing bag: Melobaby, so small in fact that it is called a Nappy Wallet. Her sales pitch was way better than those I have seen from some adults. I don't know if it comes across as good when I made her do it a second time, on camera and forgive me if there is too much background noise but we were at a busy event:
Although I did not get a video, my favourite product by far, at the Baby Show, was these BunkCots
Perfect solution for twins, or when you have two little ones close in ages. You gt everything you see from the bunkcot on the left AND on the right. So when the rails come off the walls and ladder go on, and you can even have one option on the top with a different one on the bottom. I'd almost have my time again, just to have an excuse to get one of these. They're simply gorgeous, and little ones do so like to be together. Perfect space saving solution, which is why they do a lot of trade in London. Considering Aaron only spent 6 months in his cot and has been cosleeping ever since, I don't know why I love these so much, but I do!!!! I think 599 GBP considering what you get in with it, is great value. What do you think?

Anyway it's now 1:30 a.m. and Aaron's first day of school is tomorrow today. We've spent the whole of half term laying in bed really late, so it's going to be a shock to the system getting up in 5 hours. It may have been a tad ambitious writing this post tonight. We were blessed with an Inset day today, so the big return to school is Tuesday instead of Monday, but given the hideously late night we had Sunday, we didn't get up today till 11 (I know! I know!) so I won't even tell you the time Aaron slept tonight, but let's just say the morning will be "interesting". Actually "interesting" is Aaron's new word. He's started saying it as often as me.

So if you are a new Mum, and I include bump Mums in that, get yourself to The Baby Show. I felt that I became a Mum the very second I conceived. Connect with your baby all the way through the pregnancy and you will have a Conscious Pregnancy, that will benefit you and baby forever!

Bye for now, Liska xxx

Sunday, 22 February 2015

A Week in Photos Our Half Term Holiday

We've spent the Winter hibernating and had quite a few pyjama days, so it was about time we became the outdoorsie people we are known to be. Sunday that meant a cycle ride and a trip to the park. It was great on  both counts as we haven't really been on our bikes since 2014 as Aaron loves walking to and from school now. Despite having a great day out Sunday as below, he also managed to do all his homework for the whole week even though it was meant to be 5 minutes a day for the whole half term. Took a gorgeous pic of him in action.
He was thrilled spending a couple of hours in the park, and I was over the moon that the weather's finally picked up. As you can see he's only wearing a body warmer! It was great to get the exercise of the bike ride and the fresh air. Choosing ONE pic for this #365Project post was really tough as I have about 20 gorgeous ones from this day Sunday 15th February, but the above just pipped them all to the post.

Then Monday, I really wanted to see Fifty Shades ;-) so I did. As a family we went to Chiquitos afterwards and I love that they have Mexican hats that you an wear:
For a picture of Aaron and I, there is one on Instagram: the two Chiquitos :-) We all loved the food, the ambiance, the service and it was the perfect end to a perfect day. It meant a late night so I don't know how Aaron and I got up for Art Workshop the next day but we did. I've stayed offline and had quality time with Aaron throughout half term, BUT I did manage to blog about the workshop as I was so damn proud of our painting.

What I didn't say in that blog post was that on Tuesday the Artist holding the workshop ALSO did a cast of Aaron's hand. It made me emotional as you could see the creases in his hand, the finger nails and every little detail. Beautiful:
Wednesday was the second day of the Art Workshop; this day it was mainly the Mums who did the art and the kids played and ran around. Just like I got to be hands on with the life size painting of Aaron on Tuesday (link to blog post above), on Wednesday I also got to be hands on, and made this from clay:
Looking at it now, it looks incredibly simple, but I was so very proud of it on Wednesday. Further proof I think, that I have got a lot more simplistic in my desires. I enjoy the detail and the little things in life. Which is actually very rewarding. It's slower. More mindful, and naturally more meditative. More sensual. Like focusing on the feel of the clay. The proportions. Working on wholeness rather than grandness. Making it about an experience, not a statement. Like life being a journey rather than a destination.

Thursday saw us passing Harrods on the bus, and I was gripped as always, by how incredible beautiful it looks lit up. This ALWAYS stops me in my tracks no matter how many times I see it:
Friday I spent the day at The Baby Show (post coming in the next few days). I loved all of the products there, quite a few you'd never see on the high street. Such a great way to absorb yourself in all things baby! Aaron spent the day with his favourite cousin, so I was free to roam and talk to all the brands. I even visited my Aunt and Cousin after and had a beautiful evening, which of course included the live episode of Eastenders as I have been hooked this week.
Saturday I took Aaron and his cousin to Alexandra Palace and they loved the park and the duck pond. Again too many pics to choose from, but I settled on this one:
We also got a fab pic of a rainbow.

I hope you've had a great half term too. We've literally had a ball.

So glad that school for us does not resume till Tuesday!

Head over to this week's #Project365 at The Boy and Me if you want to join in, or click this button to see the other posts linked up:
TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Life Size Painting of My Four Year Old

Today Aaron and I went to an Art Workshop at the school. It's the "half term" holidays, so it felt funny going into school, but off we went. I am so very glad that we did. In involved an early start but was so so very worth it.

At first the adults were on one table drawing and brainstorming, with pencils. The children were at another table with marker pens. We then had lunch, all together.

Then after that, out came THE PAINT. Once I saw these large sheets of paper, I had the idea of drawing around Aaron:


Aaron did all of the painting with me. I didn't realise that he's now so good at staying within the lines. He chose the colours too!
Aaron had markers in his hands when I drew around him, so as above, I decided to call it an "Artistic Warrior!" So very proud of our work today. We both got so so much out of it.

This half-term holiday break has been amazing thus far!
The next day, at the second and final day of the Art Workshop, the painting was dry so we got to pose with it for a photo. Proud Mamma!
Liska xx

With GameVillage Bingo You Just Can’t be Lonely on Valentine's Day

I've previously written about my reluctance at turning forty and it wasn't that great a feeling I must admit. After all I had entered a new decade and I was older than 99% of the parents at the school gates. But then I realised who cares that I am older? Aaron certainly doesn't. It doesn't change me as a person or the way I enjoy life. I still have a joyful approach to life, still feel youthful and easily communicate with people much younger than myself. Life's just like before and I often forget that I am passed 40.

One thing I started indulging in and I loved it too and that's online bingo. Earlier I was busy bringing up Aaron, which was a full time job. Now though he is increasingly independent and it gives me slightly more time to myself. Also he has homework now, likes to paint/draw and watch telly or DVDs. I sometimes spend my free time playing online games. I've mentioned before before that I have something called ‘beginners luck’. I've had it since childhood. When joining the website of GameVillage Bingo you can actually win quite a bit, more than once, not just as a beginner. For example the first deposit of a mere fiver earns a huge £25. Then when depositing another £10 and then another £10, both times you can receive huge bonuses. Once 200% and the next time 300%. Along with these there's free tickets and free spins which makes the bingo experience at GameVillage Bingo a mind blowing experience.

Just yesterday I became curious to know about the current offers at GameVillage and hence I logged in again and I found some cool offers to wet my bingo appetite. In here this season you can change your pennies to pounds through an exciting promo. Pre buy penny games from the Village Inn and you can claim 10% of your actual purchase as bingo bonuses. Its money time at GameVillage this February or so it seemed when I took a look at their Money Links promotional offer. Play their newest linked bingo games and if you win a full house you need to email them and the player who had called a full house on the highest numbered ball would win a £50. I however was quiet fascinated by their ‘Threesome’ promo. Simply add your name to the thread in the forum and you will soon be allocated to a team. Then the various teams will play against each other. If a member of any of the teams can call a full house the prize money would be divided amongst the three. And you thought ‘threesome’ could only be something naughty! Ha!

This post is a collaboration
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