Sunday, 20 July 2014

Good enough is best

Sat in a small room full of mothers from different backgrounds one could easily be mistaken and take it for a PTA meeting at the local school however this meeting was in the pub, cups of tea replaced by Pimms cocktails and the focus of the meeting was not to talk about what we could do better for our children but instead to watch a performance that would reassure us that as mothers we are good enough, and good enough is best.

The set

The small cast of actresses highlight the importance of speaking out when you feel you can't cope and not judging others for their parenting 'mistakes' because if we are honest we all make them in some shape or form.  Above all else what I took from the performance was that we should place great importance on not judging ourselves nor trying to measure up to the picture we've created of a perfect mother.  There are NO PERFECT mothers.

Not only was the show very entertaining but it provided information I had not known before such as the fact that PND can effect you at any point up to the time your youngest child is aged 4, a fact that may yet prove very important to my own life.  I am unfortunately part of a club to which I would gladly hand back my membership.  I have suffered from depression since the age of 16 and in the last few months have been having a tough time.  

Some people think that something in your life has to be awful to in a sense validate the state of depression, which for some is true, but for me at this present time there is no reason.  The tears are unexplained, the sleepless nights are without reason and the irrational anxiety without clear cause.  Writing that down was difficult, but keeping it in has been harder.  So I for one am very glad that I went to see the show because alongside the encouraging words from kind-hearted people either face to face or via email, this show has made me able to talk a little more about the feelings I have behind the mask I wear to protect others, my children included.

Sometimes the people that write plays such as 'The Good Enough Mums Club' and another fantastic play that I saw a snipped of this week, 'So You Think I'm Crazy?' ( written by Ekanem Hines) set out just to talk about their personal experiences, such was the case with Emily Beecher (who suffered from post natal depression and psychosis) or to bring awareness and make an impact but the writers are not always privy to the good they are doing by not only bringing awareness to the illnesses they cover in their scripts but also encouraging people to seek support, know that they are not alone or know that they are good enough.  I purposely took my friend along with me because I knew part of her story and this morning she wrote this:

"I am proud to say that I have become an honorary member of the Good enough Mums club. This means I will no longer feel guilty that I cannot be 12 places at once. I will no longer allow criticisms of my mediocre attempts at motherhood to dampen my spirits. I will celebrate my achievements and my children rather than focus on what I haven't done. And I will pat myself on the back every time I manage to do the school run after 2 hours of convincing children to eat breakfast, wash, brush teeth, get dressed and we all manage to get out the house fully dressed, a pair of the same shoes and ironed clothes is a bonus. #motherhoodishardbutworthit"

One of the things I always say is if I make a difference to one person, be that a child when I'm teaching, a women when I'm doing a workshop, a friend, a partner or my children, then I have done my job.  The writers and cast can walk proudly knowing that they have done their jobs and good enough is best.

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Nature's magic

"Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Roald Dahl

Sadness itself was chasing me,
without reason, excuse or design,
it's been trying to take my hope
and erase any peace I could find.

But I believe in magic,
much greater than any can see.
The magic of God in nature,
the healing that comes from a seed.

I planned out a grand destination,
where the magic of nature resides.
I softened my sadness with lavender,
laughing with love by my side.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

MummaG's Sweet Pepper and Spinach Fritters

I like to make meals that are simple and quick as there is nothing worse than spending hours slaving in the kitchen after a busy day.  This week I've been dribbling over the many food images on Pinterest and came across some Zucchini fritters.  I didn't fancy Zucchini so thought I'd make up a recipe of my own.  In Barbados fritters are somewhat of a specialty, ranging from savoury salt fish fritters to sweet banana fritters and I love them all.  My take on this traditional snack is Sweet Pepper and Spinach Fritters.

Here's what you'll need to make them (makes approximately 16-18):
  • 2 large spring onions
  • 1 whole sweet pepper (I used a yellow pepper seeds removed)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 hot chili peppers (seeds removed)
  • large handful of spinach
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp all purpose seasoning
  • 1/2-1 tsp salt (may need more depending on taste)
  • 250g self raising flour
  • 3 eggs
  • Sunflower oil for frying
1. Clean and roughly chop Onions, sweet pepper, chili peppers and garlic place into a food processor.
2. Wash spinach and squeeze out any excess water.
3. Add mixed herbs, black pepper, salt, all purpose seasoning and spinach to the food processor.

4. Mix until all ingredients are finely chopped.

5. Remove from food processor and place in a large bowl.
6. Add the flour and eggs, mix to form a batter.

7. Heat the oil in a pan, test to see if the oil is hot by sprinkling a small bit of flour in the pan.
8. Take approximately 1 large tbsp of the batter and place in the pan, turn throughout cooking process and pierce with a fork making sure they are evenly cooked.

9. Once cooked remove and place on a paper towel to soak up excess oil.
10.  Serve with salad and a dressing of your choice ( I chose Morrison's Soy Chili/ginger dressing mixed with mayonnaise.) 

(Alternative serving suggestion: serve as an accompaniment to a meat dish) 

I decided to link this recipe to Honest Mum's 'Tasty Tuesdays' where you can find more recipes.

Tasty Tuesdays on

Saturday, 5 July 2014

My Love Affair with Rug Doctor (A review)

My carpets have needed cleaning for the longest time and when I say cleaning I don't mean hoovering or swept, that I do on an almost daily basis as well as spot cleaning any spills or accidents.  I have however kept putting it off washing the carpets, or having them washed because my children are unfortunately in the habit of walking straight into the living room shoes still on and not worry about the dirt they are bringing in, that and the fact there is not much room at the bottom of the stairs and I often find it easier to roll my sleeping toddler into the sitting room and take him out in there before collapsing the pushchair.  Therefore it wouldn't be long before I'd be washing it again.  

Anything that can't be picked up by a hoover or a good old broom has remained below the surface, until now.  The lovely people at rug doctor sent me a machine to borrow and review and I was very excited at the prospect of having clean carpets.  I'd seen the photos of previously dirty cream carpets coming up looking as clean as the day they were purchased and I wanted in.  Rug doctor doesn't make any miracle working claims, all they say is that they are they UK's best and most cost effective carpet cleaner.

I cleared the room, which was hard work and took some pictures of my carpet before I started to make sure I had some evidence of the difference.

I then had to figure out how to use it.  The machine and bottle of carpet cleaner have plenty of instructions on use and the Rug Doctor website explains how to use it as well as offering a YouYube video for the more visual learners among us.

So how did I find it?
The negatives: 

  • It was noisy.  Not that it matters much but it meant that my plans to clean overnight whilst the children were in bed did not work out as I would have had hate mail from the neighbours.
  • It is heavy, taking it out of the box was not an easy job but it is not so heavy that it makes it difficult to use, in fact when in use you hardly notice the weight as the wheels and adjustable handle make it easy for you to pull along.
  • If your your carpets are heavily stained you can't just rely on their carpet detergent, you may need some of their other products (they do recommend you pre-treating any problem areas with the appropriate Rug Doctor cleaning products)  and as I was only sent the carpet detergent I can't comment on how effective they would have been.
The positives:
  • It really does lift out a lot of dirt, I went over my carpets on 3 separate occasions to try and get the best clean possible and the amount of dirt in the dirty water tank shows just how much work the Rug Doctor is doing (and just how dirty my carpets were.)
  • The instructions on the products and the machine itself are clear and easy to use.
  • There is plenty of advice on the website on how to use the Rug Doctor correctly.
  • The prices to rent the rug doctor are very reasonable (under £30 for 24 hour rental and cleaning solution) and you can rent them from many stores (store locators can also be found on their website)
My mum put the furniture back before I had the chance to take photos of the empty room but I have taken some pictures of spots that were stained so you get an Idea of the type of cleaning you can expect just by using the carpet detergent.

The top photos are before and the bottom ones after
Although it wasn't a perfect clean there was a huge amount of difference.  "Even the best vacuum cleaners remove only a fraction of the deep down dirt, mildew, pet waste, dust mites and other allergens lurking in your carpet."  And if that is not reason enough to rent a Rug Doctor, I don't know what is.

This is a review post, I was not paid to write this post however I was loaned a free Rug Doctor for the purposes of the review, all opinions are my own.

Family Fever