Monday, 27 February 2012

EPIC FAIL - All-in-One Mum Weekly Goal No.3

I have no words.  Well, I have a few.  I failed.  Miserably!  Oh, the shame!  The horror!  The sheer embarrassment of it all!

My attempt at my spring cleaning goal last week was a complete non-starter.  Not only did I blog just once last week but I missed out on Silent Sunday too which is one of the things I've grown to love and look forward to along with Kate Takes 5's weekly Listography.  That too was put on hold this week by Kate who ironically was doing a bit of spring cleaning herself.  Maybe I should have taken the hint from Kate and jumped at what I was meant to do a week ago?!

I do take my hat off to all the working moms out there that can manage and juggle work, children, cooking, cleaning, looking after pets, looking after themselves and generally most other things that life throws at them whilst still finding time for themselves and time to blog.  I was exhausted all of last week and lacking inspiration as well as the time and energy to blog, I simply decided not to.  Why should I write about something that makes no sense at all and is completely ridiculous, just for the sake of it?

This week however, I have been lucky enough to come across a number of inspiring stories to write about and think I am getting my blogger mojo back.  Very exciting times people!  Doesn't get much better than this I tell you!

Have a fabulous week everyone and hope that you get to accomplish everything that you set out to do this week.  I am going to attempt to finish my All-in-One Mum Weekly Goal No.3 this week, if it is the last thing I do!

A x

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Listography - Top 5 Things That Make Me Happy

I've been every so slightly useless and aloof in the past few days on my blog.  It isn't due to lack of interest or anything like that.  I don't have any excuses really, so, I am going to stop right there!

Kate's listography for this week is "Top 5 Things That Make Me Happy", so here goes!

1. My husband, my daughter, my parents, my sister.  Basically, my family.  Without my family I'd be lost.  I am truly blessed to have these amazing, loving, beautiful and caring people in my life.

2.  My close friends.  Some I've known for nearly 20 years, some I've known for 2 years or less.  Always there for a good laugh, to share a bit of gossip over a glass of vino or coffee and give a hand when I need it most.  I feel like the luckiest person in the world to know these special (and some crazy!) people.

3.  My blog.  I love to write and although I know that I'm not due to win any literally awards anytime in the foreseeable future, I carry on with my silly little posts.  They make me happy and potentially keep me sane at times that seem a little chaotic and upside down.

4.  The sun!!!!  Ahhhh!  The sun!  Today was the first hot day of the year, topping the scales in my area at 17.5 degrees celsius.  My body and soul come alive and I feel like I can take on the world.  I am counting the days to our holiday in South Africa later this year.  There is nothing quite like the African sun.

5.  My cat.  Snickers tries to follow me to work and to the shops but never quite makes it past the library, so when I make the return trip she usually pops out from under a car or from behind a bush where I last saw her and walks back with me.  Not only does she play 'fetch' with soft foam balls but she loves water too.  Possibly a dog in her past life?!

Until next week!

A x

Sunday, 19 February 2012

All-in-One Mum Weekly Goal No.3

Other than looking for a new soft toy to pattern that I can start knitting this week, my major goal is a Spring clean of my bedroom clothes cupboard and the dresser next to my bed!

Since having my daughter I am now back to a weight that I was at in my early 20's, largely down to a great deal of walking and then partly to a healthy diet.  I gave many clothes to charity and clothing bins but kept a few 'just in case' items, which seems a bit silly.

Hopefully by next Sunday I will have bagged up a good number of items that I can donate to The Children's Society Charity Shop.

Do you have a weekly goal or something that you want to finally achieve in the next few days?  It could even be the start of a long term plan with week by week achievement updates!

Think about it.  Blog about it.  
Post a link to it in the widget below.
Very, very easy!

There is something amazing about putting things in writing on the public domain.  You feel largely obliged to commit to what you have said you aim to do.  I would feel slightly gutted with myself if I didn't achieve what I set out to do but obviously, as happens in life, things don't always happen the way they are planned.  I guess that is half the fun!

Reading a book, starting to write a book, travelling around the world or going a diet.  You name it, I want to read about it!  Hope to see your weekly goal on my page soon!


Supporting the 2012 Toy Run

The Toy Run is a non-profit organisation that collects toys through a bike run held annually right across South Africa.

My sister and her husband's family (my extended family!) have supported the Toy Run for a number of years and in 2011 alone, with massive support from friends, family, co-workers and other businesses collected over 3,000 toys.  These were given to orphans, abused children, shelters and needy families throughout South Africa.  Have a look at their Facebook Group and see a few photos of what they collected for the children.

The Toy Run supports charities who care for children up to the age of 18 years old and strive to get as many toys for them as possible each year.  All toys in good condition are accepted with open arms and new toys are definitely greeted with a very warn welcome.  Donations of money can also be made to buy gifts and toys that are so desperately needed.

This year my sister and her family have challenged me to make knitted toys.  I've found a few patterns that I love at Twins' Knitting Pattern MiniShop and lots of inspiration at Knitted Toys just to name two places.  I do feel a trip to Hobby Craft coming along too!  Hopefully I can create at least 3 to 5 of these by early October which leaves me enough time to ship them to South Africa.

toys made by my sister and her family for the 2012 Toy Run
If you or your company would like to be a part of this fantastic cause, donating toys for boys and girls of varying ages, please get in touch.  Monetary donations can also be made.  

Now that I have a child of my own I can truly understand what a difference such a seemingly small gesture can make in the lives of these children that really don't have anything.

"All great things are only a number of small things that have carefully been collected together." - Anonymous


All-in-One Mum Weekly Achievement No.2

I can't believe that it took me nearly 2 years to sew this very small knitted toy together.  The big question is, why did I find the thought of it so daunting?

Before my Gran passed away in September 2005 I would have asked her to help me to complete most of my knitting projects.  She was a very talented knitter and sewed beautifully too.  I would knit a jersery or whatever I had decided to do at the time and she would either finish knitting it (we had the same tension in our knitting) or sew it together for me.  I knew that if I ever got stuck I had my Gran to help me out.  She taught me to knit when I was 5 and I am so grateful to her for this skill.  I love using my hands and being creative and find knitting very therapeutic and relaxing.

As in most things in life, you learn through trial and error.  I do my best to make the finished knitted product look at least half as good as what my Gran would have done which is quite a challenge.

I have only completely finished one other knitting project and now am quite proud of my little achievement in sewing this toy together, if I do say so myself!

I have given this Winnie the Pooh to Isabella and will make another one to give to my sister who is collecting toys for the Toy Run in Cape Town which will take place at the end of the year.


Silent Sunday

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Listography - My Top 5 Mugs!

Oh my word!  How did I miss Kate's Listography this week??!  Loving the weirdness of it all.  It appeals to me as I often say and do completely random things.  Great idea Kate!

1.  My 'Alison' Mug
My mom bought this for me roughly 16 years ago when I still lived in South Africa.  I remember seeing them at the Pick 'n Pay in Constantia Village shopping centre and just had to have it for some reason.  This is by far my favourite mug.  I usually have a nice cup of Rooibos tea with a dash of honey in this.
2. Her Ladyship Mug
Another mug from my mom.  I think it came from Past Times?  My hubby has the His Lordship mug.  It holds less water than most so it's perfect for a small cup of tea before bed.  Don't think I drink coffee in this one?

3.  Gorgeous Petunia Mug
This is one of a set of 6 beautiful floral mugs which funny enough, also came from my mom!  These were bought as either an engagement or wedding present and I use them when I have guests around.  I tend to use them more in summer for some bizarre reason?  

This is definitely a tea mug for me but if you want coffee in this, I'll happily make it of course!

4.  Super Mum Mug
This was bought for me by friends for my 28th birthday when I was 6 months pregnant with Isabella.  We had a delicious lunch at the Fighting Cocks which is said to be one of the oldest pubs in England.  It's one of my favourite places to go for summer drinks as it's so close to the park.  

I would like to think that Isabella thinks I'm a Super Mum?  This is definitely a coffee mug!
5.  Party Animal Mug
This is a Secret Santa gift from my previous job in London before I went on maternity leave.  I think it was Christmas 2007 or 2008? I'm not quite sure.  It had a sleep over party at Strawberry Moons.  Another definite coffee mug.  Love it!


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

A very special Valentine from my daughter, the beautiful Isabella.  It made my day!
Daddy and I can take turns sharing it.  It was made for both of us really ;)


Monday, 13 February 2012

Konfidence AquaNappy Review

My daughter recently had the pleasure of trying out a gorgeous pink floral Konfidence AquaNappy.  She loved the beautiful pink flowers and couldn't wait to pull it out of the packaging and go for a swim!

It is a Multi Award Wining product and was recently announced as the Winner in the Loved By Parents Best Swim Nappy award.  Suitable from approximately 3 to 30 months of age they are available in blue, pink, blue stripe, pink flowers, pink polka dot and red.

In the past I have bought disposable swim nappies for my daughter.  Putting these on is usually a two man effort with one person holding Bella while the other pulls the nappy up and 'jumps' her into it, trying not to tear it apart while putting it on.  In my opinion, it's a bit of a hassle that no parent really needs or wants.

To put the Konfidence AquaNappy on my daughter I lay her down as I would to put on her normal nappy, folded the sides in onto her tummy and then lifted the front flap.  I secured the nappy by pressing the two poppers on the front flap into two poppers on the waist band, making sure that I chose the popper locations that fitted to her waist size.  The velcro strips made sure that the nappy was extra secure.

There is no need to buy an inner nappy, lining or outer cover for the AquaNappy so you have no hidden costs after your initial purchase.

Getting the AquaNappy off was extremely easy too.  I gently pulled at the sides to release the poppers and velcro and it used far less arm strength and effort to pull it apart than a disposable nappy.

The recycled plastic liner between the inner and out shell holds in any accidents that may happen.  If soiling does take place while you are swimming, remove the baby or toddler from the water as soon as possible.

After the swim I rinsed the Konfidence AquaNappy off in cold water and spun it in the dryer in the family changing room.   It can be machine washed at a maximum temperature of 30 degrees celcius so if it is soiled, empty the waste from the nappy and then let the machine take care of the cleaning.

I hung the nappy to dry in my bathroom when I got home but if you hang it outside be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight and do not put it in the tumble dryer.  The cleaning instructions are clearly marked on a very soft label that did not cause any chafing against my daughter's sensitive skin.  I usually cut off clothing labels if I see that they cause irritation but didn't have to do it this time.

The Konfidence AquaNappy Recommended Retail Price is £9.99.  I only wish I had discovered this product sooner so that I could have gone out for a few more mommy coffee dates with the money that I would have saved from not buying the disposable types of swim nappies.

This is the best swim nappy that I have used in terms of value for money, it does what it is meant to do, keeps my daughter comfortable and happy and is good for the environment at the same time.  It looks cute and the floral design was perfect for my daughter but I'm sure she would be equally happy in any of the other available colours.

Thank you to for the opportunity to review this fabulous swim nappy.


Sunday, 12 February 2012

All-in-One Mum Weekly Goal No.2

this becomes....
My goal for this week is a very simply one and that is to finish off and then put together a Winnie the Pooh knitted soft toy.  I started knitting this for my daughter before she was born in April 2010 and unfortunately never completed it and it has been sat under my bed in a shoe box ever since.

I find knitting very theraputic and it is also extremely rewarding as everything that you make has a use in your life, whether it be a jumper, tea cosy, scarf, blanket, soft toy or pillow cover, each item you have crafted will retain memories from the time that you spent creating it.  You can tell that I'm a real nerd at heart!

I aim to finish this little Pooh Bear by next Sunday afternoon and then post it to my sister in South Africa the following week.  More information on the reason why I'm sending it to her will be posted in the next few days, so watch this space!

What is your goal for this week?  Once you've posted it on your blog, put your name and link to your post in the widget below to share it with the rest of the blogosphere.  Don't forget to grab my Weekly Goals and Achievements button on the right!


All-in-One Mum Weekly Achievement No.1

I did it!  I achieved my 1st All-in-One Mum Goal!  I've just given myself a big pat on the back and am incredibly chuffed with this, if I do say so myself!

It's a massive sense of achievement as this is the second book that I have finished this year, and it's only 2 weeks into February.  I started many books in 2011 but never managed to sit down and finish a single one due to a variety of reasons, mainly my inability to finish what I started.

Did you achieve your goal from last week or would you prefer not to comment?

Leave a link to your blog post in the link below so we can all follow your amazing progress and story!


Silent Sunday

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Mommy MOT for my back

Why is it that many mom's think they can multi-task by carrying a toddler and the shopping/laundry/any other awkward object in their free hand and arm, all at the same time?  I do this ALL the time.  Never mind the fact that it really isn't safe but the damage that I am doing to my body is ridiculous!

I often stand with Bella resting on my left hip which means that my hip is pushed out while I bend my upper body to the right like a contortion artist, making the perfect little place for Isabella to sit comfortably on my side.  As I write this I can imagine the feeling of the muscles in my back twisting and pulling, creating that awful dull ache that I have grown so used to.  I also walk along carrying her like this.  I must look ridiculous from the front never mind what I would look like from behind!

Well, no more I say, no more!  I am not very good at suffering in silence so after boring myself to tears by constantly complaining about the dull pain in my back, I got my act together and booked a treatment with Doug at the 1 Life Health clinic in St Albans.  The pain was affecting my moods as well as having a negative effect on my sleep.  I couldn't get comfortable at night and was constantly relying on my husband to rub Deep Heat on my back.  I actually longed for it all day and couldn't wait to get to bed so that the pain would be masked by the heat of the rub.

Doug helped to ease and relax the muscles in my back and used just the right amount of pressure so that I felt comfortable while still receiving the treatment that I desperately needed.

I've booked in to have the same treatment done in 4 weeks time and will most likely carry on having this done as a sort of 'mommy MOT'.  I am not going to stop carrying my daughter but I can definitely carry her in a smarter way, one that isn't going to leave me with aches and pains.

Another option is to do research into a toddler carrier although this would only be used for a few months.  I could always keep it for number 2 I guess?!

A x

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Slipping into something more comfortable

Oh phooey! So you saw the post title and thought this was going to be a bit saucy? Seriously now, this is a family friendly blog people!

On a more serious note, I really did just slip into something more relaxing. Two things actually and they are absolutely fabulous! You'll only see me wearing these babies when I'm at home and man, oh man, they fit like a glove. Soft, fluffy, tan and red Winnie the Pooh slippers.  Never mind that they keep my toes toasty but they always lift my spirits at the end of a nippy winters day.

RANDOM INFORMATION THAT YOU COULD DO WITHOUT: I've lived in the UK for nearly 8 years and have slowly developed quite a collection of flannel pyjamas, gowns and fluffy footwear.  My winter wardrobe is about twice the size of my summer one and I always seem to have an emergency umbrella somewhere in the house in case one meets with a large gust of wind and turns inside out.

Isabella thinks my Pooh shoes are hilarious, especially when they 'chase' her around the house. Who would have thought that a pair of slippers could have my little monkey in fits of laughter, ending up with both of us acting like loons as we play with mommy's crazy choice in footwear.  The cat on the other hand isn't too sure.  Silly human wearing animals on her feet.  What next?!

I also have turquoise house slippers for general use.  It feels as if I am wearing a pair of thick, soft, slightly cushioned socks.  Perfect for taking away on holidays and they are definitely slippering their way into my luggage when I go home at the end of the year.

If I'm feeling slightly more mature (doesn't happen often) then I'll bring out my white monogram slippers.  I like to think the 'D' is for the first letter of the last name.  Those of you who know me and can put 2 and 2 together from previous posts will know where this started their life.  I adore these too and feel like I should be living in a mansion in the Hertfordshire countryside, while I traipse around in my jim jams, white towelling robe and monogram slippers.

"Jeeves!  Where are my monogram slippers?!"
If you too have a pair of cuddly, wuddly slippers that you can't do without, post a pick on your own blog and then pop a link to your post in the comment section of my post so that I can have a peek.  Nosey, aren't I?

Just when you thought my posts couldn't be anymore random, I think that this one may have taken the cake!  (Thanks M!xx)


p.s. It may be time that you followed by blog too...

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Have you set your weekly goal?

Join my All-in-One-Mum Weekly Goal challenge.

My goal for the week is to finish my book and start another.  Yes, I know it seems silly but I'm busy at the moment so it's hard to make the time to do it.  I'm 60% through my book.  No, I didn't calculate that but my Kindle did!

Come on, be a sport.  You know you want to!


Wedding Fair at Hatfield House Riding School

I've been married for nearly 6 years and I still love all things wedding, so when a friend asked me to go with her to a Wedding Fair at Hatfield House I jumped at the chance.  Picking the venue, the flowers, the dress, the rings, the cake and everything that goes along with it is all so incredibly exciting!

Not all of the exhibitors were able to attend the day unfortunately due to thicker snow fall in surrounding areas putting a spanner in the works.  The individuals and companies that were present though were all of a very high standard and so I'm glad that it wasn't me that had to decide between who would be perfect to give me my dream wedding day.

I've often talked about my husband and I having our 10th wedding anniversary in Hawaii.  Our actual anniversary is in June but we would tie it in with Ironman Kona which is in October.  We would be killing two birds with one stone in doing so as hubby gets to watch the ultimate Ironman race and we can renew our vows on a stunning sandy beach in breathtaking surroundings that we will never forget.  Lucky for him I want to see the race too!

With that in mind I'd like to tell you about Little Moo Creative who I met this morning.  They make absolutely gorgeous wedding invitations, RSVP cards, evening invitations, menu cards, you name it!

I was completely smitten with their fantabulous designs and have made a mental note to have them create and produce my wedding anniversary invites.  I adore colour and the vibrancy and life in their designs is exactly what I am looking for when it comes to celebrating a special and memorable life event.

Mile House Events were also at the Fair and it took me a few moments to connect the dots as to where I'd seen their name before.  As it turns out, they recently moved to premises in central St Albans in December and I've walked past the shop on numerous occasions admiring the chair covers as I went by.  Chair covers, lighting, centre pieces and chocolate fountains are just a few of the fabulous services on offer.

You only have to read the testimonials on their website to know that they will be high in demand in the upcoming wedding season.  They don't only cater for weddings so if you are looking to add something special to your next party or event finished with a touch of glamour and sophistication, I would definitely give the team at Mile House a call.  The same definitely applies to Little Moo Creative.

Darn!  Now I need an excuse to have a party!

A x

Monkeying Around

Apparently tonight's dinner would only be eaten if the monkey suit was worn.


Isabella's First Snowy Sunday

I've still not been on a skiing/winter holiday as the idea of voluntarily spending a week playing in snow doesn't really excite me to tell you the truth.  Give me a beach holiday or other suitable location that is in excess of 30 degrees Celsius and I will be an extremely happy creature.

All that said, I woke up this morning feeling like a child at Christmas.  Today is the first time that Isabella will have seen, touched and tasted!

I slipped out of bed quite early, showered then dressed and even started to clean the house while my husband and daughter slept peacefully in their beds unaware of how giddy I was with excitement.

Bella's little outfit was set out last night so that I could quickly feed her breakfast this morning, let it settle and then change her into her warm clothes for outside.  I had it all planned out!

I lasted until about 8.30 a.m. before I simply had to wake the household up.  I couldn't wait any longer to see the look on Isabella's face when she saw that the green grass had been covered in beautiful, icy cold snow!

At first Bella wasn't too sure.  I mean honestly, if you've never seen the stuff before and had no idea of what it was, you'd be a bit cautious too.  It is icy cold, your feet sink into it as you move along and it makes a crunching sound.  That is the part that I do actually like!  In Bella's case it takes her nearly up to her knees!  After a few tentative touches and pokes of the snow we soon enough had a very happy little girl who didn't want to come back inside!

I guess we will be going on a winter holiday next year then?! 


Silent Sunday

Saturday, 4 February 2012

What song is in your head right this second?!

God Put a Smile Upon Your Face (Coldplay). Phew! Just had to get that out!

Din, din, din, dinnnnnn, din, din, din, dinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn, din!  
Din, din, din, dinnnnnn, din, din, din, dinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn, din!

That is my version of the  opening riff as I hear it in my head.

I love Coldplay.  By far the most amazing and outstanding live act, other than the band Live, that I have ever seen, live!

As many of you know I am incredibly random.  Baby posts by day, parent or more grown up posts by night.  I was going to use the words 'mature' or 'adult' but I think the connotations of those two just wouldn't sit right and I foresaw a few negative comments coming my way if I'd used them.  I think that my quirkiness is all part of my charm and the reason that many of my friends like my company and that people follow my blog, or am I simply being presumptive? Please don't answer that...

Now other than the Coldplay song that you are busy singing to yourself, what song do you have in your head at this second? Quick! Write it down in the comment block at the end of this post.  No time like the present, carpe diem, etc. etc.  If you do have this song stuck in your head then by all means write it down.


How to Follow My Blog!

It suddenly dawned on me that not everyone is as comfortable with the Internet and all things computer as I am.  I've always been happy working on a computer and although I'm no wizard, I can work out basic HTML if pointed in the right direction.

Here are a few ways for those of you who would dearly love to follow my blog but aren't quite sure how to do so.

It's safe (and logical!) to assume that if you are reading this you are on my blog page, so you have already started 1 of the 5 steps.  Well done you!

1.  Visit my blog:  Be amazed by the simplicity and beauty of it.  As I wrote that my mind immediately leapt to an old school friend called Shannon.  How strange indeed?

2.  Add my blog to your Bookmarks bar or folder (if using Safari) by clicking on the word Bookmarks at the top of your screen.  It should be six tabs across to the right.

In Internet Explorer (if I remember correctly) you can click on the orange/yellow star in the top right of the screen to add this to your favourites.  It should give you an option of where to save this to.

3.  Click on Follow at the top of the blogger screen.  It is next to what I refer to as the Google box, or the place where you 'Google things'.  It says Follow.  It's next to Share.  Clicked on Follow?  Good!

 4.  A Follow this Blog pop-up should appear.  Simply click on the orange FOLLOW button and hey, presto!  All done!

5.  Alternatively, scroll down my page and just below the button that says 'I Love Comments' (which I do!), you will see a nifty little thing declaring 'IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU SEE, FOLLOW ME!'.  Gone on!  Click on Join this site.  It's the pretty blue button.  You should be taken to the same Follow this Blog screen as shown above.

6. You can also follow me on Twitter by clicking on the very pretty Twitter Button just below the Follow Me section on right hand section of my blog.

7. Last but not least, you can follow me by email.  This is at the bottom of my page.   Yes, that means you need to scroll write down to the bottom of the page and put in your email address.

That is definitely a load of following but it will be worth it, I'm sure.  
Hopefully my blog will brighten your day when you need it most!

I hope that you found this a very useful and relatively painless exercise.  Looking forward to seeing your face soon, mixed in with the rest of my current followers.


Listography - Top 5 Phrases That Drive Me Crazy

This topic for the Kate Takes 5 weekly listography this week is 'Top 5 Phrases That Drive Me Crazy'.

I'm trying to be more calm and relaxed in 2012.  Listed below are my top 5 phrases that, in the past, would make me a bit twitchy.  A few of them should probably be classed as a statement of fact but through the years they have developed into phrases I think?

I really enjoyed this because it was a real eye opener into aspects of my life that I potentially need to tweak and work on.  Thanks Kate!

1. 'It will only take a minute' - Um, no it won't!  What this actually means is that it will most likely end up taking a good 30 minutes of my time.  Lucky for most I'm happy to do it but honestly, just say what you mean people.  It would take less than a minute to say that in fact!

2. 'Could you just look at this quickly' - Basically asking for you to show the person what to do while inevitably doing the entire thing yourself.  I do mentally prepare myself that as it's usually something I've set up in the first place, I'll need to show people three times how to do it.  That's life, I guess?  I do need to work on tolerance levels as part of my ongoing personal development.  I'm not trying to be a totally Zen like creature but it doesn't hurt to be nice.

3. 'So, when are you having number two?' - Why do kids have to come in pairs anyway?  I'd love to have two children but not just right now, thank you.  Also, do you have any idea of how much it costs just to have one child AND a husband?!

4. 'Do you miss South Africa?' - Are you serious?  No, the stinkingly hot sun, stunning ocean views and breathtaking beaches, beautiful people, amazing culture and gorgeous landscapes were just too much for me to handle and I couldn't take it anymore, so I left.   What do you think?  Okay, that is a bit harsh but honestly, what did you think my response would be?

5.  'It's fairly nominal' - This is one that I'm guilty of unfortunately.  The stupid thing is, what is nominal?!  This is completely dependant on the persons current financial situation so what one person views as being relatively cheap could be extremely pricy for another.  It's actually quite an insensitive comment to make.  Need to stop saying that because it also sounds a bit snooty pants.

So concludes my second listography contribution.  I hope you enjoy writing yours too!

A x

Friday, 3 February 2012

All-in-One Mum Weekly Goal No.1

Welcome to my first All-in-One Mum personal weekly goal!

As each of us is so wonderfully different I find it extremely interesting to see what others are striving towards in their lives, hence I've created my All-in-One Mum Weekly Goals and All-in-One Mum Weekly Achievements.

My challenge to you is to set a goal for the week.  It can be as simple as making a small change to your daily routine, trying a new task, writing that blog post you never got around to doing, spending more time with your children, trying a new or interesting recipe or as ambitious as getting that marathon time you've always wanted or trying a new hobby that you thought was impossible to do.  

Each Sunday you get the opportunity to write down a task that you are wanting to achieve for that particular week.   Add your name/blog name and link to your blog in the linky at the bottom of my post and you will have the opportunity to share your goals and dreams with the rest of the blogosphere.

Post the result of your personal goal at the bottom of my achievement post on the following Sunday, sharing your post information in the linky in the same way as you did the week before.  Easy peasy.

Feel free to have a laugh at my expense if I don't achieve what I've set out to do.  Grab my badge on my home page.

Happy goal setting and achieving :)

A x

Here is my first goal.  I couldn't wait to get started so I'm pretending that it's Sunday.  If you want to wait until Sunday to start, please feel free.  I'll put up my achievement post next Sunday evening along with my new goal.  Whoop whoop!  Let's get going!

My All-one-Mum Weekly Goal No.1 is to finish the Kindle book I'm reading (Water for Elephants) and start reading The Help which is one of the books on my Bucket List.  I've been sick in the past week so this is more challenging than it sounds, I promise!

One more, one more!

Every night before Isabella goes to bed, I sing nursery rhymes to her.  I hold her snuggle in my arms and walk around her darkened room while she rests her little head on my left shoulder.  We usually start our routine with me singing the song from CBeebies (The time has come to say goodnight...).

Isabella's current nursery rhyme top 10
  1. The Time has Come to Say Goodnight (CBeebies Song)
  2. Baa Baa Black Sheep
  3. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  4. Mary Had a Little Lamb
  5. Incy, Wincy Spider
  6. Three Blind Mice (a bit gruesome but I try to make the actions as PC as possible)
  7. Old MacDonald
  8. Humpty Dumpty 
  9. Rock a Bye Baby
  10. Hush a Bye baby
The next step in the routine is for Bella to request a song.  I've seen a very big improvement in her language skills over the past few weeks and she is gradually learning the lines to the different songs, albeit that no one else but me can understand what she is saying in most cases.  For example, we have progressed from 'Baa Baa' to 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' which I thought was absolutely amazing.  She was extremely proud of herself too which just makes my heart melt.

After a song has been requested and before I even get to the end of what I am singing, Bella is already asking for 'one more, one more!'.  I love this and lucky for her I love singing too.  After roughly 5 or so songs we have more hugs and cuddles and then she asks to be put into her cot.

It's the small things that make me happy these days.

A x

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Sick Mommy? Say what?!

For the past few days I've been wrestling with a leaky nose, cough and achey bones.  I'm not sure where I picked it up from because my daughter is perfectly fine.  I do find that germs have a field day at playgroups so I most likely caught it from one of the groups.  Bleh!

As a child I vaguely remember my mom having one or two days when she was feeling slightly under the weather.  She probably felt like death warmed up and simply wanted to crawl up in a ball and jump into bed but in my eyes she was invincible and she didn't get sick.  Simple as that.  It just wasn't a possibility.  My mom just didn't get sick!

Looking back now I realise how tough it must have been having two kiddies, managing a household and a very successful business while still having to do the school runs when you aren't feeling well.  I only have the one child and have been lucky enough to mainly be man down on the days that I am off with Bella during the week.  I say I'm lucky because I don't have to worry about missing work as I'm at home anyway and Isabella can happily spend an entire Thursday having cuddles with me on the couch.

For Isabella's sake, I can't afford to be sick or feel like rubbish.  Bella doesn't understand that mommy has a banging headache and feels rotten.  There are only so many cuddles that any little child can have before they get bored and she will still want to be entertained and learn and see new things.

Before having my daughter I probably would have taken a day off of work to try and recover but now I simply carry on.  I clean the house (to the best of my ability), I do the washing (only a few loads), I make sure we are both up and dressed at the usual time, that lunch is ready when it's meant to be and that even though I'm not feeling fabulous I still give Isabella all the attention that she needs and deserves.

Today we sat on the floor huddled in blankets while Bella stuck In the Night Garden stickers on any available surface possible for nearly an hour.  I fear I might be finding these on items of clothing and on the cushions for weeks to come!  We then coloured in peacefully while learning about the different colours and talking about the pictures, read a few books, did one or two happy dances and spoke to Gran Gran on Skype.  I also learned that if you inflate a balloon and let it deflate in a child's hands, this can land them in stitches of laughter which in turn makes you laugh and inevitably feel better.  Endorphins are amazing things!  

I doubt that Isabella will even remember the days that I wasn't on top form but I definitely will because it's a milestone in my life.  Having a child changes you in so many ways and this is just another example of how, being the adult, you just need to do your best to keep on going because it isn't just about me anymore.  

On a slightly different note, I had an invigorating and stinkingly hot Arnica bath and am feeling slightly better.  Hoorah!

A x
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