Mother’s Day Wish List

With Mother’s Day just under 2 weeks away- on Sunday 15th March, I thought I should probably start prompting Mr 29 and the boys* with some of my favourite things.

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My Thomas Sabo bracelets and necklace would benefit greatly from this gorgeous charm. It’s a campervan on a charm.  Who doesn’t want one?!

I receive a piece of Emma Bridgewater every Mamas Day.  I am  perfectly happy for this tradition to continue.

What is better then a party ring biscuit?!  A party ring biscuit cushion, obvs. And a jammy dodger.  And a custard cream.

Cath Kidston have an amazing wicker style tote which would be fabulous for the Spring and Summer.

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* Not that they read this blog but rest assured I have hinted.  A lot.

When life was simpler. Ish.

 Oh my.  Ain’t it just fabulous when ‘friends’ post photos of you from nearly 20 years ago?!

Pre husband {although we were dating}.  Pre children.  Pre compulsory bra wearing.  To my perfectly pert breasts which did not sag: I miss you guys.  I thought life was good.  Nothing from my ‘when at Uni’  list happens anymore.  Some of it I miss {my Ma doing my laundry and food shopping}.  And some of it, not so much- I wouldn’t have the stamina for a pre kids holiday anymore.

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  Drunk girls with road signs. What of it?!  Standard end to a night out, non?!

* Coming home with a souvenir.  See photo above.  My flat mate and I also took great pride with a dreadlock which was pinned to the front door.

* Size 6 trousers.  Top Shop I loved you back then.  Helped by a discount with my NUS card.

* Sun beds.  With no thought to future wrinkles.

* Drinking as much alcohol as you can in the buy 1 get 1 free deal.  Being sick and then starting over.

* Going out with a camera.  Not even a digital one.  You can see the photo above, right?! It was probably developed in Happy Snaps.  Although some of us had mobile phones we couldn’t take photos on them.  Or text.

* Going to lectures with a hangover.  18 and hanging went hand in hand, right?! <<OK so sometimes we didn’t go.

* Have I mentioned size 6 trousers?!

* My Mum washed my clothes. At weekends when I went home. Awesome.

* My mum did my shopping. I had a box full of goodies when I left on Sundays.

^^ The 2 points above totally did not prepare me for being a grown up. Do you know how much Ariel liquid and Comfort softener costs in the supermarket?!

* 18-30 holidays.  And twenties.  Not a James Villa or family in sight kind of holiday.  Booked via Ceefax.  Do you actually remember that? This was internet {almost} on your tele!

* Hitch Hiking. What the actual f*ck did we do?! All that alcohol made us invincible.  We were students and a cab fare was saved.  This is no excuse.  Bad decision.

* Size 6 trousers……

I could go on. I was at Uni for 3 years, but tell me about you.

what were your high or low points whilst at University?! 

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I wanted a sausage dog

In fact, I wanted two.

Mr 29 and I have always had a dog in our family. After saying Goodbye to our chocolate labrador last Summer we voiced that we would never have another dog.  Again.  We lasted 3 months.  We visited Battersea Cats and Dogs Home where I fell in love with a pair of sausage dogs.  Mr 29 and The Things weren’t so keen and we ended up with a 48 kilo Akita Cross. We’re not sure what he’s crossed with. We think a bear!

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As you can see Indie quickly made himself at home.  And without sounding too cliche, it feels as though he’s always been here.  My Instagram account is spammed with Indie.  And I’m not even sorry.

At three years old he can be a bit naughty cheeky- he has chewed 2 pairs of Mr 29’s shoes and has stolen a chicken breast off the side whilst I was at the kitchen sink with my back to him.  We’ve never had a dog that has chewed or stolen food before so we have brought lots and lots of toys to entertain him and keep him out of trouble.  He especially enjoys a huge Kong toy which we fill with nibbles <<<< this gives him hours of fun.

When Indie was contacted by Feedem {an online pet store stocking food and accessories} to review some products, another Kong Toy was top of the list- a Goodie Bone Dog Toy with Kong Snaps Liver Dog Treats to accompany it.  As you can see, Indie approves of this toy. Akita’s sure like a treat.  Or two.

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Having a humongous dog {or any dog} entails exercise and lots of walking. Our walks, unfortunately, take us around the surrounding roads where we live which are not very well lit.  I have seen the other neighbourhood hounds wearing a flashing light around their collars and had wanted to get one for our Dude too. This Think ‘n’ Blink  is very user friendly and can be turned on and off with a simple touch, unlike others we have seen which can only be turned on by twisting.

Up until now I have used my phone’s torch app when ‘picking up’ after Indie but now, Oh My, I am sooooo excited. I have a Dog Walking Poop Torch. Seriously. This is life changing.  It also contains a roll of poop bags which can be easily replenished.

imageDo you have a favourite pet accessory?! 

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 Disclaimer: ‘Feedem’ kindly gifted these goodies to Indie for this review. All views are my own.

Snow. Hater or Lover?

I hate snow. I actually hate it.

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On second thoughts, maybe it’s not the snow I hate but the ramifications of living in the South East of England when it does snow.  My Facebook and Twitter feeds have been full of snow loving statements, whilst my Instagram currently looks very white.

But here’s the thing. I have no emotion for snow.  It does nothing for me.  It feels me with dread.  Mr 29 is a snow lover and wishes it would snow properly!

Here are 5 reasons I hate snow.

1 * School Closures.  Today, despite having a millimetre of snow, was quite a shock as school was open. The term snow day is thrown around far too much.  Send the kids to school.  My sister and I were sent to school following the 1987 storm, and again when it snowed in London in the early nineties.

2 * Travel.  OMG.  It took me 50 minutes to drive to work this morning. It usually takes 20.  Travel in general is a pain. The local radio informed me of various road closures and signal failure at Weybridge train station. The county comes to a standstill.

3 * It ain’t pretty for long

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I posted this on my Instagram.  Pretty, non?!  Except behind me was traffic and black slush. That’s not so pretty.

4 * Panic buying for food.  I swung by the Co Op to get lottery tickets and there was no bread on the shelves. Seriously. What?! It’s a sprinkle of snow, not JUNO!

5 * Snow turns to water.  Dirty water.  We have a white ish dog. He looks as though he has black boots on.

Are you a snow lover or snow hater?! 

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5 Things That Make Me Go Eww

This past week has been a week of eww.  You know eww- when something makes you heave so much that you taste vomit in your mouth?  Yes, I am probably exaggerating but hey that’s me.  So here are my top 5 ewws.

1.  Spitting. This is disgusting. Today whilst walking the dog, I saw 3 men spitting *gags* Why is it deemed socially acceptable for men to do this? It is disgusting and tops the the eww list.

2.  Sniffing.  Blow your nose. I don’t want to hear you swallowing your snot <<<< This happened whilst commuting into town last week.

3. Fish Friday.  Have you smelt a fish lunch, on a Friday, in a NHS hospital? The smell puts me off my own lunch, and if I don’t eat this can lead to one of my ‘hangry’ episodes. Just no.  Don’t go there.

4.  Green sweets. Mr 29 and Thing 2 love a green sweet, whether it be a fruit pastille or jelly baby, and it seems from my Instagram account that there are a few green sweet fans.  Yuck. Yuck. Triple Yuck.

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5. Dog Poo.  I know my dog is wormed once a month.  I don’t want my dog sniffing your dog’s faeces which you have kindly left for us to find. I am judging you and I’m assuming if you’re not responsible enough to pick up after your own dog, you probably haven’t wormed {or fleaed} your furry best friend. It also gives ‘us’ responsible dog owners a bad name.  Pick it up people. PICK IT UP. Please.

What makes you go eww? 

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Raising The Perfect Teen

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I am the first to admit that I want the perfect teen. I get frustrated very quickly with the teen and pre teen here. I worry what people may think of them and that I will be judged as a person through my parenting skills.

This evening we attended school to discuss Thing 1’s GCSE options.  During conversations with his teachers we were told how he is polite and helpful. And yes he is.  They both are good kids.  In fact, they are great kids.  Except I rarely ever tell them this.  Instead I’m too busy hurrying them out of the house and into the car whilst ensuring they start and finish a sentence with a ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’.   It is like receiving a gold star or a pat on the back whenever I get told that the Things are polite which, actually, is often.

1} Manners. I am partial to a please, thank you and pardon. As discussed here.  Manners get you far in life. I use these words every single day at work.  And possibly over expect them back.

2} Acknowledging and Accepting a Compliment. Sometimes Thing 1 thinks he’s the best thing since slice bread and he expects to be told he’s awesome all of the time. No Son. You earn a compliment when you’re not being cocky.  If somebody is saying something nice about you- say Thank You.  See point 1.

3} Stop the cockiness.  Like I said above Thing 1 thinks he’s the sh*t. And, well, he is pretty amazing.  But I’m his Mum.  Not everybody will think so.  He often struts around like a peacock. No, Son. Get on with your homework, do your chores, stop peeing on the loo seat, save your pocket money {instead of spending it on blasted FIFA points}, remember your manners and then just maybe you can spread your feathers.

4} Eye Contact.  We’re still working on this.  The teen has a habit of fiddling with everything. The tiny crumb left on the kitchen table makes a perfect distraction during discussions.  Eye contact means you’re acknowledging and respecting the person talking to you  The teen is getting better at this.

5}. Confidence Building.  Listen to their day and praise them.  I admit sometimes I switch off.  I’m too busy thinking about the shopping list, plans for the weekend and the ‘must haves’ in the Boden sale.  I’m not really bothered about Jack or Kyle and Ben playing football.  The important thing is to acknowledge the buzz words when they’re speaking.  Such as “I scored a goal”.  Cue praise.  You did?! Well done/good job.

Do you have any other suggestions on how to raise the perfect teen?! 

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The one where mama’s sick

Dear Flu,

It is your season, but I am certain you already know this.

I decided 5 years ago I didn’t like you and hence have had a flu jab every year since. But man, something happened this year: you mutated. Like those cheeky ninja turtles. You upped your game and left me unprepared.  My constant comments of “I’ve had the flu jab” did not protect me against your new strain.

I have lost a week of this new year.  A week where I had been planning on starting to decorate the hallway {which I’ve only gone and bloody pinned- go me!}, clean out the fridge, get the kids back to school and pack away Christmas. It was supposed to be a ‘get organised’ week.

But you, Flu, had other ideas for me.

I thank you for my loss of appetite and weight loss. This will always be a winner with me, and perhaps we do have a basis for some kind of friendship. And the 36 hours that I physically did not get out of bed or lift my head off the pillow? Well that would have been more appreciated if I could have stayed awake to watch Downtown Abbey from the start, because who doesn’t love to watch re runs of Downtown Abbey? In bed no less. You deprived me of this though, flu, as did you make me an outsider to Paris.  I was simply too exhausted to explore this tragedy further than viewing a Sky News headline.

And whilst I was in bed, sweating and shivering all at once, outside of my bedroom door you were hard at work infecting Mr 29 and Thing 2.  So thank you so very much for that. Good job. Well done. Ya da ya da ya da.  You see, not only did I have to rouse myself to take 4 hourly paracetamol but because I’m a Mother, and I can’t be sick in peace, I also had to remember Thing 2’s dose as well.  Also, Mr 29, the poor darling, contracted your ever so serious strain of Man Flu, so I had to remind him to take his medication too. Sometimes.

Today though Flu, I’m winning. I showered and washed my hair this morning. I’ve only had 2 day sleeps and I’ve eaten a slice of Pizza with a handful of wedges.

I am sticking my fingers up at you Flu.

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Christmas is coming

School has finished.

The winter sickness bug has been and gone.

The house is decorated. Finally.

We are on the home straight to Christmas Day.

Three. More. Sleeps.

Despite spending a Christmas themed evening at John Lewis in Kingston, at the beginning of the month it took me a few weeks to feel inspired. I was just feeling a bit meh.

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Some other bloggers and I were invited to attend an evening in a ‘secret’ Christmas wonderland house. This area of the store is not open to the public and we were able to peruse all the lovely products in a real house setting.

My favourite room was the ‘grown ups’ bedroom. Seriously, who decorates their bedroom for Christmas?  But look at that tree.  And the photo wall.  Oh my.  I feel a ‘pinning’ session coming on.

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I am always jealous of those people who are organised enough to have beautiful Christmas set tables.

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What is on and under your Christmas tree this year?

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Some polar bears and Chanel, perhaps?!

 John Lewis kindly introduced us to the team of ESPA skin care and we were treated to hand and arm massages.  The fragrance from these products was amazing and  filled the room with utter gorgeousness.  I wanted everything. Fortunately we were given a goodie bag from ESPA to take home. Wowsers.  We also posed in front of ESPA’s poster because 1} it was for a twitter raffle 2} it’s Christmas and 3} a glass or two of prosecco had been consumed.

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Thank you John Lewis and ESPA, and the other bloggers, for such an enjoyable evening.

Happy Christmas.

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You know it’s Christmas when……

1.  For 24 days a year, the morning starts with a chocolate. Huzzah. Although this does not entice teenagers from their beds.

2.  You’ve used the hashtag #christmasjumper on Instagram.  Guilty. Here is my offering for 2015. Courtesy of Cath Kidston.

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3. Your IG feed is updated daily, telling you the whereabouts of some strange looking plastic doll. I’m not into this Elf on the Shelf malarkey.  Creepy much?!

4.  The December issue of Radio Times is available. A whole evening is pencilled into the calendar to sit on the sofa, with a biro, circling the must watch shows and films.

5.  Christmas songs are playing on the radio when you drive to work in the morning…..

6.  And when you come home.  So you sing loudly.  Obvs.

7. Autumn Yankee candles are replaced by Christmas alternatives.  Candy Cane Lane or Christmas Cookie?  I’ll take both.

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8. You drink mulled wine because ‘baby it’s cold outside’ and ‘it’s the season to be merry and all.

9. Tesco car park is heaving. All hours of the day.  There are arrows on placards pointing to empty spaces.

10.  The kids start acting nicely and very well behaved.  I can’t think why…….

What else would you add to the list? 

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Home Alone

Today I am home alone. Except for the dog.

The children have been deposited at school and the hubby left super early for work. So it’s just me. And the dog.

This is quite possibly the first time in months that I have been home alone. Six whole hours for me to spend as I choose. Oh and I’m at a child free blogging event in Kingston tonight. Double huzzah.

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Today I get to choose what I want to do. Six hours of me time until I’m needed at the school gates. I am not leaving the house. I have walked the dog already. I am not answering the phone. Six hours- who knew such a length of time existed? I get sole control of the TV remote. I get to choose the music- which will almost certainly be a recent download of Ministry of Sound 80’s mix.

I should be having a ball and doing as I choose but so far I have chosen to clean the bathroom and mop the floors downstairs. I have tidied and guess what? It is still tidy.

This afternoon I will sit and watch a cheesy movie in peace and drink a cup of tea uninterrupted. A movie that won’t have to be paused to referee 2 brothers disputing FIFA 15. And a hot cup of tea that won’t need to be put down for me to have to get up to find that one very much needed nerf bullet {because the gazillion in the toy box just won’t do}. Heck I may even have a bath and shave my legs in preparation for tonight. Imagine a bath time where nobody comes in for a pee or talks to you about absolute crap that you just simply have no interest in.

I am interested in my family. I am. I love them. But man. Six hours for me. I think I love that too.

How do you spend your time?

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