Big Bushy Ones

I dread to think who might find their way to my blog with a post title like that but if you have, viagra generic and you’re looking for something altogether different, decease I do apologise, but be on your way. This post is about eyebrows.

Yep. Eyebrows.

This week I found myself frantically trying to forward an email to my personal account that had randomly popped into my work email inbox, and cursing profusely as too many attachments to work mails were causing my sent items to get stuck in the ether.

It was a matter of extreme importance that I forwarded this email on for further research that night in the confines of my own home. The headline ‘my eyebrows got so bushy I had to stop using it’ was just way too intriguing.

What, pray tell, was this person using to bushify their eyebrows? Was it a deliberate beauty attempt or a rather unfortunate outcome of something else? How bushy was too bushy? How did I get my hands on this wonder product?

You see, eyebrows are kinda the thing of the moment, aren’t they? Not quite in a Noel Gallagher mono brow kind of a way (just yet) but the bigger and darker seems to be the better. I’ve become quite transfixed with eyebrows. Oh the shapes, the widths, the variations in darkness.

My eyebrows are frankly, a bit of a let down. One beauty therapist, when I was in my twenties, told me they were too curly to do anything with. More like pubic hair, she said. I’d be lying if I said I’d brushed that comment off and moved on with my life.

In high school (and I ask my school friends to correct me if indeed this is actually an outright lie and I have dreamt this) I was nominated or perhaps even awarded ‘Best Eyebrows’ in the final year book awards.

Where did it all go wrong? I scan photos of my late teens, when clubbing was a new adventure, and I glaze over the bright orange and turquoise shiny satin shirts that were oh so of the moment and I desperately pine over those dark, well shaped brows. And look, below, the ‘styles’ actually have names! Sadly I’m a ‘dramatic thin’ with some individual lower sprouters). I’d rather be an ‘attractive thick’ hhhhm.

I think I’ve been waxed to oblivion. I recall an encounter in a back street salon, not my usual pan piped, trickly waterfall kind of a place, where I was left with a mere 7 individual eyebrow hairs on either side. We’ve never recovered, my eyebrows and I. So now, I’m craving bushiness, and alas I have none.

This folks, is the reason for my fringe. I thought I was so clever, disguising my failings in the eyebrow department with a heavy just above the eyelids fringe. And with my hair darker than its been before, there’s no way of revealing quite how bad these babies are. And of course there’s the plus point of it hiding the spectacularly long white hair that likes to appear just slightly to the left of the middle of my forehead on the odd occasion too.

So I’m off in search of this wonder product that will give me the bushiness in the brow that I desire so much. I will however have to be extremely careful that I don’t mistakenly land some on my chin as I apply it. At the rate I’m already going, I’ll be growing a beard to, erm, cover up the hairs sprouting from my chin.

Somebody somewhere is really having a laugh.

What are you in eyebrow terms? And have you a beard to match like me?!

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Staycation

It’s the second week of the Easter holidays and the week of our staycation. Last Easter we were lucky enough to be hanging out with Mickey and Minnie in Eurodisney, rx the year before, enjoying forest walks and the indoor subtropical paradise pool at Centre Parcs. This year, we decided to have a staycation. We’ve a busy summer ahead and there’s a to do list as long as my arm of ‘things I want to get done in the house’. So staying at home seemed like the perfect way to spend our first full week off together as family since Christmas. We cajoled ourselves into it with comments such as ‘It’ll do the kids good to learn that they can entertain themselves at home’, ‘we rarely relax and enjoy our own home, it’ll be good to do some of that,’ ‘we can have days out here and there for fun,’ and ‘it’s good that we’re not being frivolous with our money.’

Then Super Daddy got the opportunity to book himself on a course for the week. Harrumph.

So we talked about it, weighed up the pros and cons and he went for booking on the three day option as a compromise, and we agreed I’d have some quality time with the kids until Thursday. Then he’d be home and we’d pack the rest of the week and the weekend with trips away, family picnics and general holiday type activities.

This far, I’ve been happy with the plan, but didn’t quite have that holiday feeling when I packed up my desk at work on Thursday and said Cheerio for ten days. Equally though, I didn’t have a pile of ironing and packing awaiting me at home or the four different lists on the go that I usually need to get ourselves organised for the off. I did have two messy bathrooms that I knew would annoy me all week if I didn’t crack open the Cif and give them some proper elbow grease. So, the weekend was therefore a ‘normal’ one, cleaning, cooking, dancing class, crafting with the kids, food shopping, grandparent visiting and Sunday night film.

Very nice indeed.

But lacking that proper holiday feel.

So I sat the nippers down and we made a list of the best things about holidays. We’d make this staycation feel like a proper holiday filled with all the things we love about going away together.
Some of their additions to the list? Swimming, going to the park, dinners out, reading magazines, staying up late and extra cuddles. Perfect.

Mine was much more basic. Starting today with not getting dressed til noon. Tick. Done.

I’m now off for a Malibu and Pineapple juice before we have a wander to the park.

Adios for now!

Mummy Flu

Last week I had the flu. Not just a runny nose and a slightly warm brow but full on ‘even the bones in my pinky toes hurt’ kind of flu. If how poorly I felt was ever in doubt, here the fact that I went on the school run with no bra on should tell you. I’m so pathetic at being unwell. I get all whiny and groan over dramatically like I’ve eaten a dodgy prawn sandwich.  I even had a good old cry to myself when my eyeballs hurt.

I’m not always such a namby pamby when it comes to illness, physician present me with a three year old with a fever and a productive cough and I’ll have him Calpoled up, chicken souped up and tucked up before you can say Atishoo. A six year old with a sore tummy? Hot water bottle, fleecy blanket on the sofa, plenty of kisses and I’ll snuggle in and we’ll watch Tangled together. I’m just not so hot at dealing with my own ills. The kids are poorly, I still manage to look after them, work from home, make a homemade lasagne for dinner and throw in a couple of piles of laundry. When poorly myself? Well, it took me until Thursday before I was able to brush my hair. Friday before I could wash it. So far, the man of the house has weathered the germs fairly unscathed. He ‘fessed up that he’d quite enjoyed his ‘man week’ whilst I’ve been doped up to the eyes on beechams flu remedy and snoring into my pillow again by 7.45 every evening (after my napping was broken only to scare the fellow mums on the school run with my greasy unstyled hair and free hanging assets). He’s watched boys movies, endless football games and worked late in to the night without me nagging him.

So now I’m back to one hot lemon drink a day to keep the sniffles and poundy head at bay, I’m also catching up on a weeks worth of washing, a weeks worth of ironing, a weeks worth of dishes…..now where’s my bra…

Thirty One Days in…

The trouble with January is that it follows December. Poor old January, remedy forever tarnished with the bad rep of being miserable, rx depressing and jaw droppingly boring. A stark contrast to December, all warm, filled with laughter, cheer and joy to the world. In December it’s acceptable to wear glittery dresses and sparkly shoes. Not so much in January.

January also gets the unfortunate millstone of being the month in which resolutions are made and broken all at once. Frankly, it doesn’t have a lot going for it. But this year, I wonder if the trend has been bucked just a little?

I look around me at friends who’ve seen their year get off to a cracking start. New businesses have been started, and new qualifications gained. New friendships have been formed, old ones have been tested. New jobs have started and career changing decisions taken. Diets have been started and stuck to. Preparations have been made for the arrival of new babies (three in the space of the next six weeks, I’m a tad broody as a result but guess that’s a whole other blog post I’m not yet brave enough to write!) Big plans have formed to celebrate big birthdays, weddings are on the horizon, honeymoons and holidays booked and that’s us just 31 days in…

Hats (and sparkly shoes) off January, this year, you’ve not been all that bad.

 

 

It’s a buggy disaster!

Did you know that 75% of mums have experienced a “buggy disaster”?

From the absolutely hilarious, pharm to the downright dangerous, medicine over 1,300 mums shared their worst moments out with their pushchairs in a recent survey by MadeForMums.com.

What’s even worse is that over 35% of mums’ disasters happened while using public transport, so we’ve put together our top 10 transport horror stories:

From the embarrassing…

  1. “Every time I went into a shop, my buggy switched all the alarms off. Embarrassing!”
  2.  “I blocked off most of the aisle on a busy bus once – the looks and tuts I got from the other passengers who had to squeeze past me…”
  3. “The wheel broke of my buggy as I was getting on the tube but I didn’t realise until the tube left and I saw the wheel on the platform”
  4. “I was trying to fold down my buggy to get on a bus, while holding shopping and the reins of my child, but it ended up with the shopping rolling down the hill and my child screaming! Luckily the nice bus driver came to offer a helping hand though”

To the super scary…

  1. “I was on the bus and as we went around a corner, the brakes clicked off and my pushchair spun around to the other side of the bus”
  2. “My buggy’s front wheel turned sideways and got stuck between the train and the platform as I was getting off the train. Now I always reverse the buggy off – it was a very scary experience”
  3. “I was walking fast with a stroller when the hard wheel hit the inside curb. The buggy fell forwards onto the ground with my two-year-old inside and I fell head first over the top of it”

And finally, to the worst…

  1. “The train driver shut the doors without looking putting the warning sound on and ripped the wheel off the front of the buggy. I had to walk around central London with three wheels”
  2. “I got on a bus and had to fold up my buggy, as there was hardly any room. When I got off the bus, I left my one-year-old on the seat while I took the buggy off to unfold, but when I turned around, the bus drove off! I had to chase after the bus and when it stopped my one-year-old was on the floor crying AND the bus driver didn’t even apologise”
  3. “I had to change platforms at my train station and was carrying my baby at the same time as trying to bump my pushchair down the stairs. Suddenly I let go and it fell all the way to the bottom! People at the bottom thought there was a baby inside, yet no one tried to stop it! They just stood there with their mouths open!”

With transport at the top of the list for the most common reason for a buggy meltdown, the weather came in second, while faulty wheels came in third and forgetting how to fold the buggy up and down came in fourth.

 

*****

Supermummy: Thanks to Made for Mums for the exclusive on top ten buggy disasters – Perhaps this would be an alternative mode of transport?!

I promise

New Year.

Goals, diagnosis plans, unhealthy hopes and dreams and the time of year when everyone put pressure on themselves to make resolutions they know they’ll have broken by the 5th January.

This is my list of new years resolutions I vow to keep / mini goals I’ll aim to meet:-

(Progress reports available on request.)

  • I will use body butter or moisturiser every day for silky soft skin
  • I will ‘Just Dance’ on our Xbox Kinnect every weekend (it’s the new clubbing don’t you know) and look ‘fit as’ as a result (though not whilst actually dancing, during that process I will look clumsy and uncoordinated)
  • I will write 500 words a day (excluding shopping lists, lists of things to pack for holidays, lists of jobs to do around the house, lists of presents to buy, lists of things to spend any future lottery wins on)
  • I will do one thing this year that scares me
  • I will stop scoffing Pringles by the tube of an evening
  • I will give everything I have to my friendships and relationships….
  • ….but know when to give up on something that’s not there.
  • I will drink more water every day
  • I will grow my hair
  • I will use my scary lady shouty voice much much less with the kids
  • I will take my make up off every night and use my anti ageing neck cream daily (Deirdre Barlow neck is not a good look)
  • I will read at least one book a month
  • I will get all of my shoes reheeled instead of just buying new ones
  • I will ensure the family all get our five a day and just eat bloody healthily instead of doing faddy diets (ala cabbage soup July 2011)
  • I will plan our garage conversion and save really hard for it (less buying of shoes may help with this)
  • I will learn Spanish. (Note, this has been a goal since I was aged 21.)
  • I will write my book and secure an agent (of the literary variety, not of the CIA or special variety)
  • I will learn how to play call of duty in order to please my husband (this is obviously his second choice of things I can vow to do to please him but my mum and the outlaws read this)
  • I will buy goldfish bowl sized wine glasses
  • I will not be sucked into celebrity big brother even though I’m a little bit curious
  • I will go on one city break with hubby leaving kids in grandparents care for a whole weekend. Eek!

Phew- not massively high brow but how’s that as a starter for ten?!

Happy New Year and hope all your dreams and goals become a reality in 2012.

This post is part of the Brit Mums Blog Hop.

Another year…

As 2011 draws to a close I find myself reflecting on the last 12 months and the discoveries I’ve made this year. Some surprising, pills some I knew all along but finally acknowledged and others which have altered a tiny bit of my being making me a slightly different ‘Me’ as we go into 2012.

This year (in no particular order) I have discovered :-

  • I have a big crush on Olly Murs
  • I’ve grown up enough to finally enjoy and appreciate red wine.
  • Spaghetti hoops and fish fingers is a perfectly acceptable kids dinner every now and again.
  • I AM looking older, troche because I AM getting older….
  • … but I’m also wiser and that brings the balance.
  • Life is fragile, loss is painful and bad things happen to good people, with no rhyme or reason.
  • But good things also happen to good people, and when they do, it’s amazing.
  • Our family motto – “We can do anything we try” – is absolutely right.
  • Watching my big girl start school was as emotional as I thought it would be, but without a doubt it’s also been the most fantastic experience this far for her.
  • I’ll never be 8 stone 4 again.
  • I’m actually quite good at my job.
  • I still hate ironing as much as I ever did.
  • I didn’t  look that awful in my swimming costume this summer, but I will never wear a bikini again.
  • You get out of relationships what you put in – applies to love, family relationships and friendships equally.
  • The love I have for Little Monster Blue takes my breath away, it still shocks me that there was a time when I once couldn’t see that coming.
  • I now accept the dark puffy circles under my eyes. And my stretch marks.
  • I am a super multi-tasker.
  • I love writing and need to do more of it.
  • I take myself too seriously sometimes and the ‘chilled’ me is actually quite cool.
  • My husband has an equally big love of online shopping as I do.
  • FaceTime rocks.
  • I am the only person who can make my dreams come true.
  • I am content.

Happy New Year all, may 2012 bring you all you wish for.

This post is part of the Brit Mums Blog Hop.

I. am. a. robot (part 2)

We had a superglue incident. It arose solely from my desire to ensure that Lola the Robot was the best he / she could possibly be. In trying to be certain Lolas head didn’t fall off on route to school on the morning of the great robot presentation, cialis sale I inadvertently managed to superglue my index finger to my middle finger. It wasn’t big or clever and called the shots on 2nd phase of production rather swiftly.

We shall resume once I have had a  good old talking to myself and acknowledged that this project belongs to Little Princess Pink and not me, shop and plain old pritt stick may mean we take our chances with a wobbly robot head.  After all that’s part of the charm of school projects isn’t it?

I.am.taking. robot. project. too. seriously.

P.S. In case of any future superglue incidents, be advised, soap and water doesn’t really work. Nail polish remover must have acetone in it, otherwise you’ll burn your skin and still be superglued together and finally, rubbing butter on your hands just brings a whole other world of troubles.

My best advice when handling superglue – read the instructions first. And wear gloves.

Red Car!

With school holidays and half term upon us, ask you might be about to embark on a long car journey’s to reach your chosen holiday destination.  Here are some helpful pointers to ensure the nippers are entertained and your sanity is retained.

  1.  Before even getting into the car, hospital ensure everyone has had a wee (fresh nappy change for those in nappies too!)  Peeing at the side of the M6 is not a pleasant experience and a coin toss is needed to decide whether it’s mum or dad who needs to get out in the pouring rain AND risk getting peed on by the child responsible for such poor bladder control.
  2.  Pack up a handy bag of healthy snacks – raisins, bananas, small bottles of water, little cubes of cheese, and oatcakes are highly recommended.  M&S Percy Pigs, chocolate buttons, marshmallows, fruit pastilles and blackcurrant squash should be kept for arrival at your destination.  Take it from one who knows.
  3. Magazines with stickers are always a winner in the entertainment stakes.  Do be prepared however upon arrival at your destination to find the inside of the doors have been decorated with brightly coloured and difficult to remove Peppa Pig stickers.  A soft, wet cloth and an hour and a half of vigorous scrubbing will do the trick.
  4. Story CD’s – an old fashioned alternative to the in-car DVD entertainment system perhaps, but avoids the pitfalls associated with reading in the car (motion sickness and see point 3 above), and anyway who doesn’t love The Gruffalo on a loop?
  5. Baby wipes are an essential, and will play a massive part in your in-car experience.
    1. Wiping poo and pee bums whilst on route
    2. Wiping sticky fingers arising from snackage (less so if healthy bite are opted for!)
    3. Wiping stickers off the inside of the car door when the soft wet cloth and hour and a half of vigorous scrubbing hasn’t worked.
    4. Wiping CD’s when they start to jump after being played consecutively for 17 times.
  6. The red car game – always a winner. There are no rules. Invented by LPP and LMB, this game involves nothing more than randomly shouting out  any of the following when spotted on the journey:
    1. Red Car (hence the name!)
    2. Van
    3. Taxi
    4. Bus
    5. Bicycle
    6. Motorbike
    7. Caravan
    8. Dumper Truck
    9. Lorry
    10. Cows

Happy Travels!

 

I. am. a. robot. (Part 1)

I fear I’ve gotten a little carried away with myself.  You see, here purchase today I started a new project, information pills malady or rather Little Princess Pink did.  As it’s the school holidays we don’t have the usual Jolly Phonics sounds and flash cards for homework, no, we have the far more inspiring and exciting…… Robot Homework Challenge!

In the interests of helping the nippers learn about 2D and 3D shapes in a creative and fun way, all Primary 1’s have been tasked with crafting their very own robot over the next week and a half using any junk modelling and craft materials they have at home.  Having an arts and crafts box that could rival an entire Hobbycraft store, Little Princess Pink and I set about the challenge with gusto.  Like some kind of torturous touchy-feely team building exercise, I witnessed from the off that Little Princess Pink shares one characteristic with Super Daddy which, shall we say, is at the opposite end of the spectrum to some of those which I display when setting about a new task or project.  LPP full of enthusiasm, bursting at the seams with great ideas  and just itching to get started, was desperate to wrap three toilet paper tubes and a rice crispies box in some shiny tin foil and bobs-your-uncle, hey presto, ta da…..’Lola’ the Robot.  I on the other hand, whilst not wanting to be one to dampen her enthusiasm was keen that we reflected  further on the task in hand and perhaps undertook some form of planning exercise before construction commenced. There’s the project manager in me.

Surprisingly she was quite agreeable, and came up with the suggestion herself that we drew a blueprint (her word, not mine) of the Robot, whom we kept referring to as ‘he’ despite already tagging him/her with the moniker Lola (after our goldfish). Using a blue felt tip pen, LPP carefully sketched her first idea of what Lola should look like.  Her plan was simple. We’d draw the blueprint, and from that, identify which shapes we needed to make up the component parts, and only then set about the house on some kind of crafting, robotic treasure hunt seeking out body parts for Lola.

One sketch, some scribbled notes and twenty minutes rummaging in every corner of the house later and we had located every identified object which would form some limb or other for the greatly anticipated robot. Taking after her mother this time, LPP donned a painting apron and spread old newspapers all over the kitchen table so as she could crack on with task 1 – naming and numbering of the constituent parts of the production, and a developing an ordering system for how we should paint or decorate each part.

First came the painting.  Having discovered a Dulux  tester pot in ‘Chic Perfection’ (a silver grey) lurking on my desk in the office (not having actually found its way to the walls in the hallway for aesthetic testing) we began slopping and slapping this all over a Pampers size 5 nappy box which would be the robots body. Early on in this phase we identified through a crude risk analysis that we simply weren’t going to have enough to cover the whole box, and made a strategic decision to cover only the top and two sides in this colour and use red paint sprinkled with silver glitter on opposing sides. With more left over in the tester post than anticipated, we tactically decided to adopt a similar approach to the smaller brown cardboard box we’d found in a rarely explored kitchen cupboard, which had contained a traditional sweet shop portion of chocolate limes (marketing idea adopted by Super Daddy for his like-named web design business). ‘Chic Perfection’ on the top and two sides, red paint and silver glitter on opposing sides.  With the creative juices flowing, and a robust robot production plan in place, all was going tickety-boo.

Then came the holler of ‘Ah don wannnnaa naaaap…’ from upstairs.

Little Monster Blue had spoken.

The creative team had company.

‘What’s this mummy?’ he asked, clamouring up onto a seat at the kitchen table and making a clumsy grab for the blue glitter shaker.

‘That’s glitter, big guy.’ I tell him removing it gently from his hands and placing it out of his reach at the other side of the table.

‘What s this one?’ he tries, making another fumble for a second glitter shaker, this time green.

‘That one is glitter too honey,’ I answer, ‘In green, your favourite colour.’

‘Yes, mine favourite.’

‘And what’s this mummy?’ he asks, successfully managing to expertly dive half way across the table landing one hand in the paper plate holding the red paint and grabbing the brush from the Dulux tester pot tightly like the baton in a relay race in the other. By the brush end.  With lots of paint still on it.

Exasperated by her brothers efforts to get involved, Little Princess Pink made a bid to quickly finish the outstanding painting activities – setting herself a critical milestone of 3pm as Chloe’s Closet was coming on tv – and she swiftly coated two Twinings tea boxes, and an empty Disney Princess colouring box in red and blue paint and vigorously shook a myriad of coloured glitter over every square inch (of the kitchen). The lid of a tube of jelly tots, a bottle of fizzy juice and a milk carton were also covered haphazardly in the now globby paint and glitter mix, but oh was it looking good.

With Little Monster Blue safely deposited in the playroom with Granddad Dogs Pick Up truck and a box of raisins, ‘Super Team Creatives’ (I know, I’m sooo geeky) continued our great work.

Pipe cleaners in pink, purple, red, and yellow were twisted round pencils to create  springy wire effects,  pink yoghurt pot ears were decorated with sticky foam numbers and letters to signify an explosion coming out of his/her head (!) and toilet roll tubes were covered in shiny foil ready to be attached by elastic and hoisted on as his/her arms when the time came.

With the time drawing close to 3pm, and my kitchen drawing closer to an explosion in a paint factory, we wound down production for phase 1.  A quick check of the blueprint, and we’re very nearly good to go on all body parts being primed and ready for manufacture. I feel I’ve brought my project planning, and creative skills to the homework challenge this far.  Super Daddy is the engineer – it’s over to him tomorrow for the assembly and construction process.

In the meantime, does anyone have any tips for getting vinyl silk off a two year olds hand?

 

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