Monday, 30 September 2013

So you think you can Blog?

There are so many rules that go along with being a blogger, I've always been ok with mathematical rules or literary rules, they are pretty straight forward, they don't bend.  Social rules however have never been my strong point.  What I've found is that blogging is a social thing.  Of course you write for yourself, as your own outlet, but most of us want someone to read it, or we wouldn't make it public in the first place.  That someone could be anyone from the girl next door to the stranger 5000 miles away, as long as someone is reading it.  

The thing is a lot of the people reading and sharing your posts are other bloggers, they want you to comment on their posts, talk to them on twitter, like their facebook pages, have a conversation about what you had for breakfast that morning or what awful thing the government has done this week but they won't necessarily care about your response. 

Being new to the blogging world you are the one that usually has to make the first move and if this doesn't come naturally to you it's a struggle.  

There are some really lovely bloggers out there Fiona +Coombe Mill, Rachel +Rachel tryingforsighs, Sara +Sara Murray, Susan +Susan Mann, Kate +Kate Takes 5, Becky +Becky Willoughby+Shona Motherwell to name a few that make you feel welcome and will always respond if you talk to them and then there are the others who leave you out in the cold and make you feel a bit unwelcome so to speak.  The 'parent' blogger world especially can be a bit like a group of high school girls with some lads thrown in for good measure.  

Whatever you do, if you want to blog always be yourself.  Always use your own voice and don't worry about being accepted.  If you write what someone wants to read, which can be just about anything, someone will always read what you have to say.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Saturday is Caption Day

Joining in with #SatCap for the first time as whilst flicking through some of my photos and found this.

What caption would you give it?

Mammasaurus - Saturday is Caption Day!

ActionAid - Childhood Memories

@adadcalledspen wrote a fab post this week about ActionAid's #Rebuild campaign.  The campaign was launched to help rebuild the lives of the children who have been traumatised by war.  

Some celebrities have joined ActionAids campaign and recreated childhood memories to draw attention for the need these children have, the need to feel happy, to feel safe, to have great opportunities for the future and to create their own childhood memories that don't involve conflict and sadness.

My childhood memory involves me snuggled up under the covers with a book (often one of Enid Blyton's).  Picking up the same book some years later and reading the first few lines is like meeting up with old friends and reliving the stories they told when I first met them.  Their excitement drawing me in to their tale...

Some people save their old clothes for their children, I save my old books :-)

You can watch Sarah Alexander (Ambassador for ActionAid) visit Sierra Leone and see what ActionAid's child sponsorship is doing there and the work that still needs to be done "to help give a generation their lives back."  You can also see some celebrities recreating their childhood memories.  

This is a chance to have a bit of fun, recreate a memory and most importantly bring attention to a well deserved cause.  

Friday, 27 September 2013

Through the eyes of a 2 year old

I remember when I used to live in a world of fantasy, my brother the imaginary dogs and I.  The Princess always had a vivid imagination, her dad and I caught her on a couple of occasions in her toddler years talking to a friend called David, who lived in the fireplace.  My little man seems to have inherited that same imaginative streak he has such an amazing sense of humour, even at two he already makes little jokes and plays pretend with us.  I wonder what the world looks like through his eyes...

When he wakes up in the morning does he see flowers growing from my head that make him say, "Good morning mummy, you're beautiful," in his ever so sweet toddler boy voice?

Does he climb down the mountain to get to the land of dinosaurs and talking trains?

Does he eat his breakfast with puppet people or have lunch in a forest full of gnomes?

Does he think his sister is from duck planet or a chameleon forever changing to suit her mood. 

Whatever the world look like through his eyes I really hope it's wonderful :-)

We are reading Anthony Browne's Bear Hunt at the moment. A simple picture book that stimulates the imagination.  A book that I have loved for years because of it's vivid 'retro' pictures and bears' clever use of a pencil to get himself out of sticky situations.  It may not be to everyone's taste of course but I think it's cute.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


This Face, 
this face is the face of dreams fulfilled,
the face of laughter made,
the face that aids my heart to beat,
the face that never fails
to inspire me to face each day
with hope of a wonderful end,
this is the face of a princess
my daughter, my best friend. 

To see some more fabulous faces head over to the gallery where faces is this weeks theme.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Monday Melodies

Ok so my crazy sister decided she wants to do a weekly blog link up and I of course will be forced tripping over my feet to join in.  It's all about music.  Music for me is like a man you can't live with it and you don't really want to live without it (unless of course you prefer movies to music, if you know what I mean.)  It serves it's purpose, it can motivate me to clean the house, make me fall into my pillow wailing in sadness or make me want to do the naughty with the boy up the road (metaphorically speaking of course!)

The song I've chosen this week is not only a song that represents this present Monday for me but it has been the song that I've felt for a while.  

When you think you are in love with someone and you invest your time, your heart, your soul into that 'love' it's hard to walk away and be the same person you were before.

So here is my video... 

To find out the rules click the badge below, or to jump straight in click here

Living with Mr M & Les Enfants

Royce 'My First Sports Bra' review

Buying your daughter her first bra is one of those things you both look forward to and dread in equal measure.  The chance to shop together for girly bits and giggle at the extra boost bras that have nearly as much air in as a bouncy castle is very appealing but on the other hand it means that she is growing up and becoming a woman.  Scary as the thought may be, when the time comes we want to get it right.

We were asked by a lovely team member at Royce if we would like to try out ‘My First Sports Bra’ and as the teen takes part in cheer leading as well as her regular P.E lessons we thought this would be ideal.

It had taken us ages to find the ‘right’ bras for the teen because even though she has been measured the fit of bras seemed to vary from brand to brand.  We were a bit worried that the size we ordered might not fit.  The bra arrived in lovely packaging, which made both me and the teen look forward to seeing it in the flesh and we were pleasantly surprised at the quality and soft feel of the material.  The removable padding in the cups gave the bra a nice shape without being obvious.

The plus points as described by the teen are:
  • It was comfortable,
  • it’s very good for sport because it’s light and well fitting. 
  • It allows you to move freely.
  • It doesn't ride up when I’m doing my stunts.
  • It’s easy to put on.

This didn't leave much space for negatives.   I would however say that priced at £22 it is a ‘high end’ item. 

Royce do recommend you go to a stockist to get measured and their website offers tips on how to make your daughter feel comfortable about getting measured as well as advice for the girls on how their body is changing.  To have a look at this or other items click here to visit.  You can also find them on facebook or twitter.

Silent Sunday

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Oh to be Human!

A dog called depression is biting my heals.  Feeling tired and teary for no apparent reason seems to be a regular occurrence recently.  This is often followed by playing music, dancing, blogging or hiding out in bed just to feel a little sense of normality or comfort.  Today I was tired, really tired and noticeably so.  The first thing my sister said on seeing me was wow you look tired and she NEVER says that so it must be bad.  I have terrible insomnia, I could blame Little Man for being a bad sleeper  but even long after he is asleep I'm still up, reading, staring at my ceiling, playing candy crush or thinking about anything and everything under the sun that I need to do between now and the end of life!  

No doubt over the next couple of days I will forget feeling down and put all my energy into some project or another.  The children will jump on my back (the teen still tries to do this despite only being a couple of inches smaller than me) and they will remind me of a beautiful purpose I have.  Being there mum is tough and I often wish I could press the pause button on motherhood, live a little then jump back in.  But in all reality as quickly as I pressed pause I would start to miss them and want to be back being mum again.


Tonight I must try to go to sleep early, I want to feel human again.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A Bug I Don't Mind Them Catching!

Teen Princess, Little Man and I love reading.  There is something about picking up a book and getting ready to enter a new world of imagination that excites me, sad as that may be.  I was one of those classic little girls that would hide under the covers at night, long past the time when I should have been asleep. Book in hand and whatever device that emitted a light bright enough for me to just make out the words on each page.  

The Teen Princess is EXACTLY the same, bedtime does not equal bedtime, her mobile phone acts as a torch until I check on her and have to remove the slightly dampened book from beneath her cheeks.

I thought this was a girl thing, my brother Daniel was never an enthusiastic reader so when Little Man came along I expected it to be all cars, dinosaurs and trains, which to an extent it is.  Little Man however also loves being read to, he picks up the words of the story and tries to 'read along' and this makes me very happy.  

We snuggle together in the smallest of spaces and read, it bonds us just like it did with the Teen Princess and I pray that his love of books never fades.

This week I'd like to share with you his favourite book of the moment.

Do you have the book bug?  What are your little ones favourites? 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

What a Difference a Day Makes

This week, even though I started off feeling fabulous, the weather has slowly grated away at my mood.  Forecasts of gale-force winds meant I was not looking forward to the weekend.  To top it off Little Man was ill so I wasn't sure we would get to go and enjoy the Pull-Ups Potty Training Bus which we were invited to attend today (Sunday.)  Luckily he recovered just in time. 

My friends will tell you I have sworn by Huggies since I used them with my daughter and when they stopped producing nappies in the UK this spring I was gutted and couldn't wait to get little man potty training so I could at least use the Pull-Ups range which are still available.  We made our way up to Camden Morrisons early this morning and little man was really excited at the sight of the bus.  (So was I if I'm honest).

How cool is this American Style school bus!

The bus was fab and on board we got to meet some other parent bloggers with their children, the lovely PR team, and Emma Kenny, resident psychologist on day break and Pull-ups brand ambassador. 

Emma Kenny was fantastic, I came for potty training and ended up going home with not only some Pull-Ups, lots of stickers and a chart to help Little Man with his potty training but I came away comforted by her experiences of having been a single mum, who knew a morning on a potty training bus would have such a profound effect on my self-esteem!

Reward chart with holograph stickers (with the Disney Cars or Princess theme)

Little man had a great time in the water play area which was a giant sink with a flush, a strange but awesome combination!

There was also the bedtime area (again with Disney Cars and Disney Princess theme) where the little ones could be taught about potty training at night time, a clothes line showing the range of huggies, which Little Man enjoyed pointing out the 'big boy pants,' and a graduation booth where they could have photos taken to show they had graduated to pants.

A taste of the future

Overall it was a fun and interactive experience.  You can find out where the next stop on the Pull ups tour is here.

Silent Sunday

Friday, 13 September 2013

70 is a big number

My dad is 70 today, that is a big number.  I wanted to write a post that reflects the good memories my slice of those years have held with my father.  I scanned photo albums and noticed there were none of my dad and I when I was a young child, it didn't surprise me.  So all I can really offer is my faded memories and a few more recent snaps.

I remember first arriving in the UK and fighting my brother to sit on my fathers lap.  That was when my father represented strength to me, when I knew him as little more than a powerful, tall (compared to me) man who I should address by the name dad.  That is of course not his name, he is Whitfield Whittington Houston, a very posh sounding name, but everyone calls him Tex which is much more fitting to his character.

What I most like about my dad is his tendency to talk at length on any topic know to man.  I like that he keeps fit, even in his old age.  I like that he was in the army and sometimes tells stories of his travels and experiences.  I like that he would take my siblings and I to watch him play cricket or drive us to the beach on sunny days.  I like that he taught me the importance of sticking up for myself.  I like that though he didn't play a huge role in our upbringing he was always present and I like that I have someone I can call dad.

He will probably never see this post.  I will wish him happy birthday soon as my sister has planned a birthday dinner, for which I am requested to provide mac n cheese and some cupcakes, which I suppose are my specialty.

70 is a big number, happy 70th Dad.
Dad with 4 out of his 6 children.  We are wearing father daughter shirts lol

Dad with Little Man 

Dad last month at Little Man's Birthday Party

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Gallery - Selfie

This week Tara has chosen the theme selfie for The Gallery, The term selfie as described in the oxford dictionary (yes it has actually been added as well as some other interesting words,) is a photograph that one has taken of ones self.  

I am partial to a bit of self loving... of the photographic type of course!  Just for you here is a selection of our little family's most recent selfies.

You may be thinking this is not a selfie but I actually wanted to capture my legs in the photo, I'm a bit in love with these tights!

This is one of my favourite family selfies, the picture quality isn't great but it shows how much love there is between the two of them.  That and the fact she is teaching him to be as vain as the rest of us!

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

The Teens take over Towie Style

I got in trouble with the teen today for not writing about the most eventful day of her entire summer!  It wasn't actually that eventful and if you ask me you can hardly call the weather we had that day summer.

We had arranged, or rather The Teen Princess and her best friend had arranged for us to go on a day trip to Brentwood in Essex, the home of trash reality TV stars Joey Essex, Mario Falcone, Jessica Wright and the rest of the Towie lot.

I got up that morning looked at the sky and though 'great' it was the perfect weather for sitting by the fire place with coffee and scones and not moving until the day was over.  I longed for Mumma Walters (the teens best friends mum) to call and cancel, little did I know she was at home longing for me to do the same thing.  Neither of us wanted to go but neither of us had the heart to let down our princesses.  So off we set meeting half way on a rather pleasant train ride.  Unfortunately for us the weather was no better in Essex than it was in London, in fact it was much worse.  I for one ended up soaked right through, which wasn't all bad as it ended in the purchase of these rather cute wellies.

Mumma Walters being the friendly person that she is got chatting to a young 'local' girl, which was nice at first but the more she stood talking to us the more we noticed how her eyes would roll back in her head.  We noticed how she carried no hand bag but instead she had her worldly possessions in a holey Tesco bag.  She followed us half way where we were going insisting that she were planning on meeting a group of 20 friends who were already in Amy Child's Salon waiting for her.  She then mentioned that her father was a traveller.  Now I have no problem with anyone living any lifestyle they choose, but having anyone follow you around for no apparent reason makes me nervous.  

We made our excuses and headed into the nearest McDonalds.  We had a quick meal and thought when we came out the girl would be gone.  Gladly Mumma Walters spotted her before she spotted us, she was stood in an alley way a little way up from McDonalds with two more equally unkempt looking teens.  It was no surprise that when we reached Amy's Salon there was no large group of girls, only a few middle aged women having their nails done.  Needless to say we had avoided trouble and the sun began to show it's face, which meant we could do a little of this...

Posing outside Fusey, unfortunately for us Joey Essex was off that day

Sam Faiers was very sweet and the teens liked taking photos with her most out of all the others

Gemma Collins, takes a lovely photo.  I don't envy them having to be snapped all day long and we could tell that Gemma was feeling the strain that day.

Over all, despite the bad weather and being followed, it ended up being a lovely day and we plan on going back when the sun is shining and the boys are in town!