Category Archives: How to

My September beauty faves – Inspired by Mam Rants and Reviews

I’m about to do something a little different to my usual posts. My world has recently been brightened by a fellow blogger Shân Williams. Living approximately a six-hour drive from one another and technically in different countries, we are yet to meet in real life. Nonetheless, this lady and I have clicked and she’s definitely one of my new faves.

New to the blogging scene, Shân is already inspiring me. I learn something new about her everyday. She first caught my eye the day I watched her #BraveTheShave on Instagram. An act she completed to mark her eighth year since she got given the all clear. Each year she does something different. I’ve always wanted to shave my head but never been brave enough and here was this woman, whacking on her fave lippy and braving it.

So Shân blogs over at Mam Rants and Reviews. She recently blogged about her Fall Fashion Faves and asked me to join her with some of my own faves. Life being as it has in the Gorgeous George’s Mama household, fashion has been bumped off the budget list of late. I’m hoping things are on the up though as I’m desperate for a few new key pieces for this Autumn/Winter. Beauty is an essential though in my eyes and I can always find the pennies to look after my ageing bod. Stick with me…I’m not a beauty blogger and I’m not about to impersonate one.

ANEW Anti Wrinkle, Line Erasing Serum with A-F33 by Avon

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I’m proper pleased with myself about this stuff and not least because it’s a great product. So I’ll tell you the story about how this came into my life. Whilst attending the last of the Summer family fun fetes, hubs took George to a tombola stall. I needed to park ym aging bod for a moment as I;ve been suffering with my hip. I reminded him that we didn’t need to be taking any toot home as I had just decluttered our home ready for sale.

“Don’t worry” he reassured me “this time I’m going for something for you”.

So off he trots and a few minutes later and £2 lighter he appears with a gorgeous set from Boots and this wonder serum. This stuff retails at £25 from Avon! I effectively got it for a quid! I’m already loving it. I started to use it every morning as a must and I will never got back. This is going to be part of my morning routine for life!

Avon were the first major cosmetic company to end animal testing nearly 30 years ago. The serum isn’t greasy at all and it’s currently on sale for £18 (prices as of September 21st 2018). What’s not to love!

Before and after. See the difference? Me neither but it feels lush.

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Coconut miracle penetrating oil by OGX.

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This little beaut presented itself to me in the reduced section during my weekly shop in Asda. Again OGX Beauty ltd are a company that do not support testing on animals and this particular miracle oil is vegan friendly too.

I’ve been going grey since I was 15 and it reached a point where I was home dyeing my hair every 3 weeks to cover the greys. This became something I couldn’t maintain once I became a Mum, so I started getting highlights at the salon. This does involve the use of bleach as I am a natural brown.

After this summer’s heat wave and the bleaching, my hair was feeling a little dry on the ends. I needed a quick solution so I thought I would give it a go. It was reduced from £7.99 to £4.99.

I wash my hair every other day and literally just put an amount the size of a penny in my palm and run my fingers through towel dried hair. It makes it feel silky again without being greasy and removes frizz. It’s definitely revived my hair.

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.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/IMG_22251-e1537562226369.jpg” alt=”faves” width=”270″ height=”480″ /> Couldn’t resist a Snapchat twat pose[/caption]

nSPA Cherry Body Mist

nSPA Cherry Body Mist

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This spray was a gift from my sister along with some other nSPA goodies. nSPA are another of my faves that is vegan friendly and against animal testing.

Just before the summer break we visited the step up room at George’s preschool. Another Mum, who I have made friends with was sat with me. I asked her what she thought of the place whilst we were there and she replied;

“It smells nice so that’s a bonus….oh no that’s you”

 I’m rarely complimented on my scent. I rarely wear one as it can aggravate or trigger my migraines. Now every time I spray this I feel like I’m one of those people you walk past in the street and think

“mmm they smell lush”

The nSPA range is available from their website or at Asda. Their Blooming Gorgeous range served me well during my pregnancy with Gorgeous George.

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So there you have it. Some fab products for you to checkout, each with their own story of why they are my faves for this month. This post is not sponsored or paid. They are just products I wanted to shout about after Shân inspired me and suggested we collaborate.

Be sure to go show her some love over at

Mam Rants and ReviewsFacebookTwitterInstagram.

Much Love x 

Lucy At Home UK parenting blogger

Why I became a blogger – By Gorgeous George’s Mama

You probably have never wondered why I became a blogger, but I’m going to tell you anyway. So back in August 2015 I was a first time mum to a 10 month old. The first 10 months had plenty of those famous “magic moments”. But it was literally the hardest 10 months of mine and hubs relationship.

This is despite myself undergoing major spinal surgery in and learning to walk again in the first year of our relationship in our teens! But becoming parents was even harder. So here I was feeling pretty angry at the world for not being more honest with me.

Blogger

I only knew the basics of pregnancy and motherhood. I knew you got fatter, you might throw up and you could get stretch marks during pregnancy. Oh my word was there a lot you ladies in my life failed to divulge. Read my thoughts on The truth about pregnancy here.

Then there was new motherhood. I knew I would have less sleep and less freedom (whatever that meant) but other than comments like “enjoy it whilst it lasts”, there was no way I was prepared for new motherhood. Could anyone have prepared me? I actually don’t know. Maybe they tried?

I know I used to live life thinking “that’s them and this is me and I’ll be different”. But overall every new Mum (maybe even new dad?) pretty much experiences the same feelings and emotions just to differing degrees.

Blogger

So I’ve ALWAYS loved writing. Poems, short stories. I had a lull after leaving school but I maintained the poetry and was even asked to write a special birthday poem for a friend’s relative. I wanted to share THE TRUTH with women everywhere. To my knowledge the truth wasn’t out there. I certainly hadn’t found it.

So I looked into starting a blog and I saw that this was something you could actually make a career out of. Little did I know it’s not as easy as it appears on face value. So after much deliberation and discussion with hubs, I decided on the name Gorgeous George’s Mama. I had my very own George as my muse and he was often referred to as the Georgeous.

It was also still in the days when Prince William and Kate had only one child, Prince George. My simple, it’s-so-easy-to-crack-this-internet-business brain decided that people would be searching for “Gorgeous George” all the time. This owing to the fact Prince George had been born before our very own Georgeous.

By the way, our George is named after my Grandad and was always going to be George or Georgie regardless or gender for years prior to the royal baby.

Blogger

Anyway, my plan for my page to be popping up in peoples supposed daily searches wasn’t what I had naively hoped and here I am, along with now millions of other parenting bloggers, all trying to be heard. The trend to speak “THE TRUTH” about motherhood and parenting has grown massively since 2015. Did I jump on a bandwagon? If I did it was completely obliviously, as I was new to this thing.

So since the original “plan” I’ve come a long way. I’ve fallen in and out of love with blogging. I’ve learnt tonnes and it’s an area where you never stop learning. It’s also exhaustive and you can literally never stop if you aren’t careful. You have to draw a line when it comes to promotion and interacting with people supporting you via social media.

So when I’ve been asked to clarify what I hope to achieve with my blog I’ve always though it was to share “THE TRUTH”. I’ve now moved onto the fact that this is only MY truth and there are so many other truths out there. Not only that but I’ve discovered some fab fellow parent and lifestyle bloggers and ladies that run hilarious and insightful Facebook pages.

To be honest there are a lot of women who do “THE TRUTH” one hundred times better than me and I love them for it. They are funnier, have a better way with words and I support them and share them with others.

So then I’m left wondering why on Earth I’m doing this thing they call blogging when I’m not and never will be “the best”, hell if I even want to be!? And then it hit me. Yes I want to always be truthful as long as it’s helpful. There’s no point telling people a truth just to be hurtful. It has to have a potential benefit to their lives. Having worked in the NHS (national health service to anyone not UK based) for 11 years prior to motherhood, I love to help people. And that’s what I want this blog to be.

I want to help them find fun places to go or fun activities to do. From big days out to sharing little games and activities me and George think up. I want to recommend baby and toddler classes, places to go out with friends when you need to feel like you again or for anyone who isn’t a parent. To share truths about life and encourage people to improve their lives by getting essential tests and check ups. My blog goals are to be encouraging, enlightening and overall enjoyable to read. I want people to laugh along with me about the crap I go brooch in life, because if you can’t laugh about it then you’re gonna cry your way through life. So if you want to read something like that, then you have come to the right place.

My tagline?

  • A woman who’s always learning, sharing her fascinations with you through a mama’s eyes

  • Poetically analysing motherhood and life.

  • Crazy cat lady turned gorgeous George’s Mama. Poetically mastering motherhood and life.

Or something along those lines. Feel free to help me out on this. Thanks for dropping by.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

How to ensure your wedding is talked about for years to come.

** Disclosure – This post is a collaborative post  however, aside from recommending you checkout this company’s fab website, this post is all my own and comes from the heart, no integrity lost”

This post is totally my opinion, we could go as far as to say my advice, on how to make sure your wedding is THE wedding. The wedding your friends and family talk about for years to come. How to make it special for you and your partner, whilst making it feel special for your guests.

To quote the fabulous and renowned children’s author Julia Donaldson  from The Scarecrows Wedding   “Let’s have a wedding, the best wedding yet, the wedding that no one will ever forget” Said Harry O Hay to Betty O Barley – The Scarecrows’ wedding By Julia Donaldson.

My own wedding was a blissful 9 years ago. I’d love to relieve it every day, although minus the expense of course. It was everything we hoped and dreamed it would be. Hubs and I spent 18 months planning our wedding together. We hoped we had set the scene for the ultimate day of happiness. Was it perfect? No. Did it matter? Not at all. It gave us stories to tell, and hurdles to overcome. Much like everyday married life.

I think there are many choices for the types of wedding you have in the 21st century. We were one of the first of our family and friends to break from tradition and to have a civil ceremony. Our day was held in one location which house a small chapel style building for the ceremony with some picturesque grounds for photos. Followed by the rest of the day in a converted barn. There was also a house on site for us and our immediate family to stay overnight in. Checkout The Reid Rooms who hosted our wedding.

wedding

On the whole, the majority of weddings I have been very fortunate to have attended have all followed a similar suit. On the most part they are civil ceremonies conducted in a converted barn or large house. The days events continue on location. Sometimes they are a church service with the rest of the days proceedings continued in a similar location experienced in hosting wedding receptions.

For most, this is THE DREAM, especially for the bride who. She has meticulously chosen the most expensive dress she will ever buy. All hopes are pinned on seeing the grooms face whilst she wants to feel like Beyoncé for one day. All eyes on them, the happy couple.

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If you hadn’t guessed by now, I LOVE weddings! I jokingly call myself a wedding connoisseur. I’m yet to start gate crashing, but it has been known for me to offer to pay to attend as a guest. I genuinely love the fairytale. Every time I see a bride turn that corner the tears well in my eyes. I can literally feel everything she is going through. The nerves, the excitement, the love.

When planning your wedding it is important to consider what will make you as a couple happy. But ultimately I believe you need to focus on what will make your guests have a day to remember. I personally wouldn’t have enjoyed my day if my guests were not content. For us, we gave the comfort and requirements of our friends and family a LOT of consideration.

wedding

Research, research, research. I used to spend every lunch hour browsing the internet and bridal forums. Having masses of wedding info collated on a website such as Confetti, is a great starting point if you don’t know where to begin. I can totally recommend you attend wedding showers in the area you intend to marry. I believe this is why many still say it was one of the more ‘memorable’ and ‘brilliant’ weddings they have attended.

Little things like ensuring there was a quiet place in the evening for older and very young guests to sit and talk away from the dancing and loud music. Making sure the venue were able to provide cups of tea throughout the day, not just in the evening and after the meal. We had grandparents with no interest in drinking alcohol. Having a simple cup of tea was all they needed to feel relaxed and comfortable.

Often when you attend weddings you can find yourself presented with food that you wouldn’t usually eat. Wedding days can be a long day for all involved. Nobody wants to feel hungry because they didn’t like the pea soup or lamb cutlets. Plus you yourself are spending an awful lot of money, you want it to be money well spent. We chose to have classic bangers (sausage) and mash with gravy with a chocolate fudge cake for after. We had a second option but it was all received well.

wedding

Whilst we had waitress service for the starter and desert and table clearing, the main course was a served buffet. Guests were encouraged to go up for seconds to avoid waste. And we used our nectar points to buy our own wine for the tables.

We tried to save money by doing a lot of things ourselves. I made the invites, buttonholes, gift card box and table plan myself, along with a photo montage of myself and hubs through the years for our guests to have a giggle at.

We found a company who allowed us to custom design our own wedding rings, and it was cheaper than many of the rings we had seen in the shops. I had also found a lot of the modern wedding rings quite bulky and they looked out-of-place against my Nan’s vintage wedding ring.

wedding

During the wedding breakfast we made a CD to be played to fill any awkward silences. The CD consisted of songs that were “the song” for our parents, siblings and other people close to us or songs that meant something to us. Each person or couple received a copy of this CD with our image on as a wedding favour. With the idea when they listened back to the CD they would always think of our day.

As my parents are divorced I didn’t want to tread on any toes so I decided to have my nephew who I’m very close to, walk me down the aisle. One of my younger nephews at the time was the adorable ring bearer. My nephew who walked me down the aisle to “give me away” was only 12 at the time but he stood up at the wedding breakfast and did a speech. He was such a cutie and we will always have a close bond.

Hubs has 2 brothers and asked them both to share the role of best man. A job they did rather comically when it came to the speech and entertaining the evening guests with their lack of dancing skills.

Breaking tradition I also gave a speech along with my mum. Hubs got so emotional I ended up reading most of his speech, until I got to the part about how wonderful I was and he was able to compose himself to continue. He’s always been teetotal pretty much. But that day he was knocking back the champers in order to get through his speech. I joked that he’d only been married 5 minutes and already I had turned him to drink.

wedding

A few other ways we tried to break with tradition… Instead of a wedding cake we had a 9 tier stand covered with 150 individual cupcakes. Hubs drove himself and I arrived in a minibus driven by my mum containing other family members. As we were staying on site there wasn’t going to be anyone to witness our arrival and it was an added expense we didn’t need. I did my own makeup and I had planned to do my own hair with my Mums help. After a failed trial run resulting in me burning my arm, we managed to persuade our usual hairdressers to do a simple up do with only 3 days notice. Everyone in the salon thought it was hilarious I had intended to do my own wedding hair. I’m so glad I didn’t.

The first dance can feel a little nerve-wracking for many. I insisted hubs and I made up a brief routine in our kitchen a week prior to the event. Making it our own and avoiding an awkward shuffle round the middle of the dance floor. If you look very closely on the DVD you can see me saying “we are doing it, we’re doing it” and him saying “No,no,no,no”. But it was great fun and added to the romanticism of dancing away at home to OUR song, Stand by Me by Ben E King.

wedding

Which brings me to my next piece of advice. Videographers. Technology has come a long way in the last 9 years. People are now using drones to get amazing 360 shots from the sky at weddings. My cousins’ wedding had a card on the table with a special hashtag for sharing any piccies you took on Instagram. Photo booths are now available for hire with props. Some companies upload the images to Facebook so you no longer have to wait for processing. All these advancements I think are a welcome addition to your day.

I totally think the day flies by in such a cheek aching blur, that to have it captured on film to watch over and over or share with the grandkids is invaluable. I would love to have my Nan and Grandad’s wedding on DVD. Who doesn’t want to remember their wedding day!

My final thought on how to make your day a memorable one that is talked about for years is this:-

 Don’t feel pressured to do what you think people expect. Make your wedding as big or as small as you would like and can afford. Get friends and family involved. Don’t forget to thank and appreciate your guests. I recently heard on the radio that on average guest spend just over £1000 attending a wedding. Share the love.

If you are thinking of planning your wedding, why not start by visiting Confetti.co.uk. Their website has so many useful links to help you choose a venue, dress and so, so much more.
I’d love to hear about your wedding day.

Our photographs were taken by Scott at The Edge Photography. Some of the images have been altered by myself for the sake of this post.

Things to do when it snows.

SNOWDAY!!! Are you bored of the word snow yet? I’m not. The beast from the east (as they say) has arrived and we have a full on snow day here in Essex. Let me tell you there’s more to snow than simply getting cold and building a snowman. Here are some ideas I’ve seen throughout the internet or gathered from friends.

  • You simply can’t have a snow day without building a snowman! It’s standard snow protocol! I’m yet to master a decent Snowman. True to my crazy cat lady form, I do make a pretty mean snow cat (checkout the featured image) but my snowmen always end up looking like giant smiling dildo’s!?snowday
  •  Sledding! A snow day pastime which I’ve never actually done! I’ve never committed to the purchase of a sledge as we can go some years and have no snow. Plus I’ve always been at work when it snows. Now I have a child I really need to invest in one as we have a town famous hill near us, perfect for sledding that just looks epic!

    snowday
    Image courtesy of Pixabay
  • Even the best snow day can get tiring and cold. If you don’t want to waste all that precious, rare white stuff then bring the snow indoors! Taking messy play to a whole new level, this activity can surprisingly entertain your child for a decent amount of time. Simply fill a bowl, bucket, tuff spot, whatever your container of choice with lush snow and place inside. Add a selection of toys suitable for playing in the snow eh voila. When the snow melts (which takes longer than you would imagine) just get some more. My little George chose octonauts, go jetters and dinosaurs to use in his snow bowl. I suggested digging with a spoon. snowday
  • Snow days seem to be very creative driven, (when you aren’t just lobbing snowballs at each other). So why not extend this further with some snow painting. Fill some squirty bottles with food colouring and water and let the children have great fun making coloured patterns in the snow. Or as my friend once did, get the paint and brushes out and paint the snowman. Checkout her fab page for more ideas on activities to do with toddlers and preschoolers; Entertaining Ava – Ideas for Toddler and Preschooler Play

    snow day
    Image courtesy of the facebook group Entertaining Ava – Ideas for Toddler and Preschooler Play. Permission given.
  • Snow day taffy. Now this is one of those things I just happened to see pop up on twitter in amongst the trending snow posts. I have to admit that this seemed as bizarre to me as the idea that most Americans don’t own an electric kettle. But apparently this is standard behaviour in Canada. I found this fab how to here; How to make Maple Syrup Snow Taffy .
  • Send a special message to someone. It just so happened to be hubs birthday one year when it snowed. I used the shingle we had in our garden to create a message but you could use the squirty bottle idea previously mentioned. Your message doens’t have to be for a birthday, it could be a marriage proposal, disney announcement, baby announcement or just to brighten someone’s day.snow day
  • Snowball fights don’t have to be the only thing to use snowballs for. Grab a bucket or draw a line or circle in the snow and see who can get their snowballs in the circle/bucket. That way no one ends up sad because they have snow down their back or in their eye.
  • If you have a willing cat or dog, let them out in the snow and just sit back and enjoy. Cats and Dogs can be so funny in the snow and if you film them and send them into You’ve been Framed you might get £250 for your efforts.

    snow day
    My beloved cat Missy who we lost 10 years ago.

So there are just a few ideas to keep you going for a snow day. I shall be investing in a pair of waterproof gloves in prep for the next snow.

Have you tried any of these? Do you have any ideas to share? I love new ideas. I am becoming a bit of a pinterestaholic.

Until next time…..

Tips to encourage your child to wash and brush their teeth

We are all looking for ways to maintain our sanity  make parenting easier. Three years into parenting, myself and Gorgeous George’s Daddy are still devising ways to encourage George to wash and brush his teeth.

George was two weeks old before hubs and I plucked up the courage to give him his first full bath. Scared of him being a slippery bugger and flying out of hands, thus causing himself  us to have hurt him, we waited until it was really necessary. We quickly realised this was going to be something George needed convincing was a fun and relaxing habit.

 

We have since devised many ways to encourage our child that the essential act of getting washed and brushing your teeth can be fun. I’d like to add that George has pretty much always loved bathtimes and teeth brushing. His main issue is either that he is too tired or the desire to want to play with his toys is too strong.

Here’s are my top tips to encourage your child to wash and brush their teeth twice a day;

  1. Explain what’s expected. I’ve always explained what is ahead of us. I think it helps to make tasks or trips seem less daunting.
  2. Get them involved. Yes it might take longer but let them have some control. George is almost three and can
  • Fill the sink
  • Wash his hands and face with soap and a flannel
  • Dry them on a towel
  • Load his toothbrush with the right amount of toothpaste
  • Clean his own teeth
  • Spit (Rinsing is not actually recommended by dentists)

I don’t know if this is typical for a child his age and although I still supervise him to help him remain focused, he is more than independently able to complete these tasks. I do assist him when I feel he’s missed a bit. I also try to clean his teeth myself a few times a week to ensure they are getting properly cleaned. I have taught him the proper brushing technique though.

  1. Get a chart. Ask your dentist for a teeth brushing chart or download one. A fun toothbrush with a character on also helps. Getting your child to choose their own toothbrush in the shop is good encouragement. Just make sure they are age appropriate.

  2. Make up songs. Back in the day where I was forever wet wiping George’s face clean of food from weaning etc, we made up a song. To the tune of E I Adio;

We’re cleaning George’s face/arms/bum

We’re cleaning George’s face

We’re making George all gorgeous

We’re cleaning George’s face

This also worked for brushing teeth, brushing hair, putting on socks, coat and so on.

  1. Challenge your child to a “teeth race”.

Teeth brushing is important and needs to be done properly for it to be sufficient.

The teeth race in short is you cleaning your teeth at the same time your child cleans theirs. If your child doesn’t clean their own teeth yet you can do this in conjunction with your partner. They clean their own teeth whilst you clean your child’s.

This should also help to get your child from anywhere in the house to the bathroom in a matter of minutes. You can also use this for handwashing etc.

  1. Get the toys involved. George’s favourite toy changes almost weekly. Over the years we have tried to suggest that “rabbit” or his “Lightning McQueen” would love to watch him getting washed and cleaning his teeth.

Show them Mr Monkey how you wash your hands

If the toy is waterproof it goes in, or even simpler, use a favourite bath toy, or the toy can sit on a ledge from a safe distance to the water and “watch”.

This method can often mean that wash time takes up to 10 minutes or more but I often leave him to get on with having fun whilst I sneakily get a face wash in. I’m then free to do my makeup or get dressed, empty the litter tray, or even have a quick clean up.

  1. Following on from the “bring a toy” idea, suggest that mr car is all dirty and needs a wash. Before you know it your child will be elbow deep in bubbles and foam and getting clean without even realising it. Let’s face it, if they are that grubby then the bath is an easier option.

  2. Songs, songs, songs. I had a tiny turtle, row row row the boat, I jumped aboard a pirate ship, any songs or nursery rhymes, preferably water related to distract your little one whilst you wash them.

  3. Bribery! I insist that we cannot go downstairs in the morning until we have washed and cleaned our teeth. The bathroom in our house is upstairs, playing with toys happens downstairs. If like mine, your little one is eager to get up and play with the toys, then insist that they can’t until they have had their wash and cleaned their teeth. Works for me.

  4. Buy fun soap. Here are a few of our favs. George enjoys mixing different colours and textures so we often have several different soaps on the sink edge at a time.

  • Johnsons easy rinse foaming shampoo
  • Lush Rainbow fun soap
  • Carex handwash in Bubblegum/Love Hearts or Strawberry Laces (Even my visiting nephew complimented me on the epicness of this soap)

So what do you think of our top tips? Do you have any to add? Obviously I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and means of encouragement.

 

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Has becoming a mum made me lazy? 

There are days I feel I’ve definitely fulfilled my potential as both a mama and a human being. And then there are days where I feel outrageously lazy. 

Lazy
These lazy feelings rarely happened when I worked a 9-5. I worked like a maniac as often my workload was more than the hours I could fit them into. Always working against a deadline. Patients needing their meds, doctors wanting the drug charts, the pharmacy closing for dispensing and so on. 

Evenings were for cooking and prepping for the following day at work. Weekends were precious down time, a chance to have fun (wink, wink) and to keep on top of the house work, most of which would be blitzed on a Sunday morning whilst hubs was at footie training. 

Lazy
Cut to life as a stay at home mum. Life feels like one big weekend. Although of course hubs only joins us here and there as he’s working working (a bit like out out). Unlike myself (rolls eyes, ha ha).  

The cleaning well it happens when I get sick of looking at everything, things start to smell or my feet are getting covered in too much grit when I walk around the house, bleugh. We live in a two up, two down with me, hubs, George nearly three and three cats who mainly live indoors. 

Lazy
My house isn’t filthy as such but I have no set routine. I just do stuff when I can be bothered. There feels like a permanent flood of toys flowing in my direction along with crumbs and chalk dusk, magic sand and pieces of cut up paper. Chuck in the tumbleweed style balls of cat hair floating my across the laminate in the toddlers back draft and thus sets the scene. 

Then there’s me. If we don’t have plans and I’m not stood at the kitchen sink (why the heck do I feel like I live at that sink!?) Then I’m sat on the sofa watching George play. Or reading him a story or watching a film together. Doing some something research, planning or blogging related on my phone. 

Then there’s the dust. I used to be the type of gal that dusted the tops of her door frames. I felt compelled to after watching so many episodes of “Four in a bed” and seeing how much this disgusted people. Now I don’t know where the dust goes but it’s not on the duster as that thing barely comes out of the cupboard. 

Lazy
Why not? I hear you thinking. I honestly don’t know. I’m sure I could fit it in but now I’m a mama maybe I’m just lazy. Every moment of my time that isn’t commanded by George, I mentally tell myself to sit and chill. 

“You deserve this” I reward my lazy self. 

Do I though! I used to be on my feet 8 hours a day at my job. Yes I was tired but I was a fit size 12. Ok so I’ve been on migraine prevention tablets that made me gain 3 stone and go up to a size 16 but could I shift that quicker if I just got off my arse? 

Genuinely I don’t know. I have to be sure not to over exert myself too much at times as it makes my migraines more susceptible. But excuses aside I really need to maybe make myself a cleaning routine. 

I put a ridiculous amount of effort into days out, playing with George, DIY, tending to and revamping the garden. It’s literally the cleaning and tidying that makes me feel like I’m the laziest mofo of the land. And yet I know that if I made a schedule for every task that I will inevitably miss, I’ll then proceed serve myself a lovely helping of guilt. 

What do you think? Are you a stay at home parent or working parent? Do you feel any lazier since becoming a parent? Do you have any tips for staying on top of the household chores? I’d love to hear them. If nothing else but to make myself feel a little less like the lazy biatch I probably am. 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Manners, the forgotten art of – how NOT to thank someone for a gift.

I’m noticing more and more that manners are becoming a forgotten art. Just watching an episode of Eastenders the other night it was even apparent. Michelle pulled up in a black taxi and said “wait here while I get your money”! What! This is not how I would speak to anyone! I would have said “please could you wait here a moment whilst I grab my money from inside. Sorry about this”.

I’m not even going to ask if anyone thinks I’m wrong because I’m a believer of manners and I’m disliking this world that has not only forgotten them but doesn’t seem to be teaching them to our children. 

This leads me to my biggest and longstanding bug bear. Thanking people for gifts.

When I was growing up, after each Birthday and Christmas, I would, along with my sister, write thank you notes and send them out to everyone that had sent me a gift or card or money. This wasn’t under duress. I actually enjoyed writing a thoughtful letter to each person that had sent me a gift or money. I would explain how much I liked that gift and how or what I was intending on spending the money on.

As I’ve aged and technology has advanced, I have on occasions switched to the same routine but sending it via text message, email, whatsapp and alike or phoning the individual. A personal thank you to let them know that the thought and effort they placed into ensuring I received something for my birthday or christmas had not gone unnoticed.

I took a leaf from my sister, as a fellow list lover and would have a running list next to me as I opened the gifts. Documenting who the present was from and brief description of what it was. At my baby shower my sister ran the list for me. I just find it helps later on in remembering who gave what. Especially if you receive a lot of gifts.

As George is now in our lives, I quickly jot down presents as he opens them also. I try to ensure this doesn’t take away from me watching him open the gifts. In between making a list and taking photos of him, gift opening is somewhat of a military operation in my world. It’s still fun though I promise.

It encourages him to take his time and appreciate each gift. I’m not sure how practical this will be at christmas if we have more than one child but I’m sure we’ll manage.We usually open gifts over the course of several days so as not to overwhelm him and also to encourage appreciation. We have a relatively large family so he receives quite a lot of gifts.

Here’s my list of acceptable and unacceptable ways to thank people for a gift.

Totally acceptable and I will love and respect you forever

  • Bespoke postcards – mass ordered but with a handwritten note thanking me for noted gift
  • Text message/Whatsapp to me personally, thanking me for the specifically identified gift. (Bonus points if you include a picture of you wearing the gift, of it in your home, your child playing with it etc).
  • Handwritten letter or card
  • Creative art from the child who received the gift. (A scribble, a scrawl, a handprint in paint, it’s the thought that counts.)
  • A verbal thanks at the time of opening

Pretty unacceptable methods of thanks leaving me unlikely to give you any more gifts , or at least no longer put much thought or effort into them.

  • no thank you at all
  • A verbal thank you on being handed the gift but nothing after you have opened it and actually discovered what it is.
  • A “one message fits all” Facebook status, thanking “everyone” for their gifts. No! I want to know you personally received and liked MY gift not everyone’s.

I try to treat people the way I wish to be treated. Unfortunately this sets my expectations of people far too high, often leaving me disappointed. I’m making a stand though. No longer shall I spend hours of my time putting together well thought out gifts for those that cannot find the time to thank me properly.

Here’s a fab post I found with some great tips on how to thank people for gifts for many occasions;

12 ways to say Thanks and mean it

What’s your idea of good manners when it comes to thanking people for gifts? Do you think I expect too much? Do you get annoyed by people’s apparent ungratefulness in this day and age?

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

The blogger recognition award

The blogger recognition award. An award by bloggers for bloggers. As hubby asks why I’m sat at my laptop smirking, I sit here relishing in the fact that a fellow blogger has nominated little old me for this recognition award. I post these thought outbursts hoping that someone, anyone read them and feels a little smirk too. So to know that this has happened at least once pleases me.

So here’s thanking you, My Real Fairy. Thanks for the appreciation , the recognition and the nomination.

Now for rules.

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to. (if 15 is pushing it a bit for you then do 10;)
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

♥ How my blog started ♥

Officially my blog started in August 2015. I’ve loved writing since I can remember. My stories written at a very young age were very vivid and imaginative. With a massive creative streak in me coupled with a ridiculously  overactive imagination and several vivid dreams each night (All of which I can usually remember in great detail.) Add a need to share my crazy, overthinking thoughts with the world, (I don’t seem capable of a full on non fiction novel.) I’ve tried dozens of times and given up. Then blogging was brought to my attention. Don’t ask me where from but I knew it was for me.

I could write, whatever I wanted (within reason) and it didn’t need anyone’s approval to hit publish. As I delved deeper into the world of blogging, researching every aspect, I discovered that blogging and photography go hand in hand. I love photography. I had several professional books to take inspiration from when I was younger. I’ve never got round to taking a photography course or even investing in a ‘proper’ camera. Armed with an iphone 6 and a host of editing apps, I’ve found I can produce my own photos to make my blogging experience that more personal.

Cut to November 2016 and I knew I wanted to go self hosted to fully benefit and feel in control of my blog so I purchased my own domain name and delved into the world of html code and a other things that I’m still not sure what they are called. But I get myself through with the support of google, my web domain support team, plugin support and most importantly help and advice from fellow bloggers I know or can chat to in facebook blogging groups.

I often saw people saying the key was to find your niche and work from there. I almost drove myself crazy and gave up on blogging altogether whilst I was trying to work out my niche. Then I realised I can only be me. I’ll write what I want, when I want to and if it’s not good enough for some it will be for others.

Blogging helped me through the tough transition of giving up being a working woman with a career, to be a stay at home first time mum. It was and still is an outlet. I’m always at my most creative when I feel slightly overwhelmed or stressed out. This is my therapy, my happiness and my sole aim is to people please. I love knowing I’m made someone smile or feel like they are not alone in how they feel.

I’ve never looked back. I have my doubts here and there about sharing information so publicly. I try to set limits for myself and not show or give out any information that may embarrass George or put him at risk at any age.

♥ My advice to new bloggers ♥

  • Set yourself up with business acccounts/pages for Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, You tube (If you intend to Vlog), stumbleupon and some people use LinkedIn. Promote, promote, promote.
  • Don’t expect the world on a plate, in a day. It takes time, effort and more time.
  • Share the love. Read other people’s blogs, join in linkies, comment on other people’s blogs and social media profiles.
  • Go self hosted from the start to make your own life easier. I use WordPress plugin and I get on ok with it.
  • Share the love some more. Bloggers are on the whole a friendly bunch and your love will usually be reciprocated.
  • Enjoy it. If you enjoy writing it, the chances are people will enjoy reading it.

Best of luck

My nominations in no specific order are as follows. I’ll tweet you to let you know too.

A Moment With Franca

Odd Hogg

One Frazzled Mum

Wingin It

Diary of a Little Peach

Along Came Poppy

Mind Your Mamma

Suburban Mum

Burnished Chaos

Me and B make Tea

Mrs Morgan Plus 3

Ordinary Hopes

Mums the Word

The Less-Refined Mind

Five Little Doves

Until next time…….

Guilty as charged – Mum guilt and how to stop it.

Are you a Mum? Guilty as charged! Do you constantly guilt trip yourself? Can’t win in your own high expectations competition?

Are you a Dad? Do Dads do this too or is this just a mama thing? Does any of this resonant with you?

Here’s a typical week inside my psyche. A guilt trip diary if you will. As great as I am feeling when I edit and publish this post, this was written at a time when these feelings overpower me.  Any tips of how NOT to make yourself feel like you’re constantly failing would be much appreciated. Share the love and we all might be that bit more carefree.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not permanently beating myself up mentally but I do have at least one thought of guilt each day. I’m pretty sure it was a good friend that once said to me;

“Guilt is literally the most useless emotion”

Here is a typical week in the life of moi, with my guilty thoughts thrown in. Any of it sound familiar?

Monday – Take George to a morning messy play session. George had fun. Mostly he was wanting me to follow him closely so I couldn’t maintain a full conversation with any of the other mums. He always seemed to call me when it was the other mums chance to speak too.

I came away feeling guilty that I make come across as a self centred type. Disinterested in what others have to say. When in reality the kid dragged me away and if I didn’t follow him he would cry and I’d feel like a non attentive mother. Crap listener award or crap mother award guilty as charged.

Tuesday – We have been invited to meet up with friends who live some distance from us. I struggle to drive very far due to ongoing vertigo which has potentially resulted in confidence issues. This makes me feel like the plans have to revolve around me and being located somewhere I can get to by public transport. I’d like to point out this isn’t the case, it’s just my guilt. (Can hear my girlfriends shouting at the screen.) I would also love to say, to quote Charlie Puth;

“I’m only one call away, I’ll be there to save the day, Superman got nothing on me, I’m only one call away.”

But I won’t! Because unless I can burden someone else by giving me a lift then by the time public transport gets me there, the emergency will be over. Crap friend award, guilty as charged.

Wednesday – George attends nursery to allow me to get intensive jobs done at home that are easier to do without him around. Work like a maniac getting things done until I’m almost crippled by pain. Spend rest of the day suffering and unable to do much else. Crap body award – guilty as charged.

On occasions I drop George at nursery but I’m already suffering with some ailment and not good for much else but sat on the sofa watching TV. Total waste of my George free time.

Mum guilt and wasted money guilt.

Thursday – spend an epic day with George doing all his favourite activities. Farm or zoo, park or play centre. Followed by painting and playdoh at home. Making puzzles, reading books, playing cars. Finished with a bath with bubbles and more games.

Hubbies returns home from work, hoping for some loving. I feel so exhausted from plowing all my time and energy into giving George an epic day. All I want to do is curl up in front of the tele and then go to bed. Not to mention I am feeling all touched out from George.

Crap wife award – guilty as charged.

Friday – realise I’ve not seen any family this week. Try to make plans but most people have their own agendas and there simply isn’t time to fit everyone in.

Crap daughter, sister, auntie award – guilty as charged.

Saturday – hubs and I go to our regular football match. We usually try to cram in visiting relatives and some shopping and other tasks that have been put off all week. We end up eating a lot of convenience food and drink as opposed to healthy home made alternatives.

Crap eater,never gonna lose weight and stay trim award – guilty as charged.

Sunday – hubs goes to play football. Feeling lazy I park George in front of the tele with his toys and spend the morning chilling but not really being very active.

Lazy mum, lazy girl award – guilty as charged.

So you see I can’t win. As varied as my weeks are, there is always something else I could have been doing. Something I’m guilty of not doing. And therefore I stand before you as an over thinker, guilty as charged.

So how can we stop this cycle of useless guilt? The most pointless emotion that serves no purpose than to go round in a vicious circle.

  • For starters you need to promote your self worth. You aren’t superman, no one is. We all have our own capabilities and you can only achieve what you are physically and mentally able to. I’m all for pushing your boundaries but do it sensibly and within reach.
  • Give yourself mental rewards. If you can beat yourself up mentally, you can big yourself up mentally. Try to recognise something positive that you have achieved each day, each hour if you are feeling powerful! Ok that’s not realistic.
  • Write things down, bad thoughts on paper are less prevalent in your head. Good thoughts on paper can be a boost to look back on during guilty times. Even better, right the good thoughts down on post its and place them in areas you are likely to see them.
  • This article perfectly sums it up; Get off your guilt trip and gain self esteem

Please share with us your guilty thoughts and how you deal with them.

Until next time…….

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

How not to heat up milk

As I write this post on how not to heat up milk, I can’t help thinking of a quote from the 1969 film The Italian Job in which Michael Caine famously declared;

“You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”

So I’m known to be lacking in a certain amount of common sense, something I’ve written about here.

http://www.gorgeousgeorgesmama.co.uk/common-as-sense/

Please do not confuse this with intelligence. Although I wouldn’t go as far to say that I’m intelligent I’m happy to state that I’m certainly clever. Now this common sense deficiency has provided me with many a comical tale to tell and seems to provide much amusement to those who witness it first hand.

My latest misadventure involved a baby’s bottle and a microwave. Some mums would blame it on sleep deprivation, the incurable baby brain, or just pure distraction. I’m happy to admit that I just don’t have enough common sense to anticipate the unfortunate result of my actions.

Having recently weaned George onto bottled cow’s milk, I were finding he was waking for a bottle a few hours after I went to bed. I was venturing downstairs to warm the bottle for him and then he would quickly drink this and go back to sleep. The same could not be said for me, who then proceeded to spend the next few hours laying wide awake. The solution, suggested by my mum,  was to warm the milk until it was too hot to drink just before going to bed and placing it in a thermal bag. By the time George woke, the milk was just at the right temperature, and right by the bed so I didn’t wake up too much and everyone slept happily.

I have always chosen to heat his milk in the microwave as although advice suggests not too in case of hot spots, I ensure I shake the bottle thoroughly to distribute the heat and test it before giving it to George. It’s a method that’s always worked and as we’ve only ever heated the milk for 30-50 seconds it’s always heated gently with the bottle fully assembled. To make the milk hot enough to take to bed and cool, I found 2 minutes was the perfect amount of time to spend heating it through.

On the first night of “operation more sleep”,with the bottle fully assembled, I placed it in the microwave for a minute and a half. I tested it and decided it could do with being a bit hotter so put it on for a further 30 seconds which brought it to a nice hot temperature but when George woke a few hours later and I tested it it was cool enough for him to drink but not so cold he wouldn’t like it.

On night 2, I followed the same process but this time I placed the fully assembled bottle in the microwave and set it for 2 minutes. Chatting away to hubby in the living room , checking he’d done all the locking up and turning off we both were suddenly interrupted by an almighty bang. I ran into the kitchen just in time to find the microwave door being blown open by the force, milk flying up in the air and spilling out onto the work surface and a great big hole in the side of the bottle. With only three seconds to spare on the timer. It was only then my hindsight voice kicked in. “Oh! I probably should’ve left the lid off, too much pressure”.

After settling the cats and hubbies nerves I explained what I had done. Much to his exasperation. After all the action of the milk explosion we were both full of adrenaline and then spent the next hour both wide awake.

Until next time…

Mummuddlingthrough