Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Movie Meme - Chick Flick

This is my first week contributing to Hannah's Movie Meme over at Metal Mummy. I thought it best to have a look through at the other posts beforehand as I didn't want to bang on about the same film as everyone else. Of course I would have been extremely predictable and picked the ultimate in my eyes, the epic Dirty Dancing.

Like most I took a little while to ponder this one and many I came up with didn't fall under the category of 'Chick Flick'. I am sure however there will be plenty of opportunity to dredge up some other favourite films in future meme's!

My chosen flick is Love Actually. The film is pure cheese and warms the cockles of my heart. Now I don't normally buy DVD's and never have, once I have seen a film I don't wish to watch it again over and over (excluding a few classics), but I was given Love Actually and it was a godsend. Over 3 years ago we moved into our new flat just before Christmas only to find out we wouldn't have any signal for the television for 6 weeks, aargh.

So....this film (along with the Holiday) became the background sound most days as it was about Christmas and had Christmassy music. I love all the individual scenario's that unfold and eventually tie together at the end. The airport scene at the end just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling! So this gets my vote simply for the fact I will watch it again and again and I am still not sick of it!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Being a Trolley Dolly

After my last post on Listography I gave myself the idea of writing a post about my days up in the sky. Now as mentioned it was one of the careers on my list that I had always dreamed of doing, as with most things in life you look back and wonder what exactly the attraction was in the beginning. Ok the appeal was the obvious, you get to travel to lovely exotic destinations and strut around in your uniform like you're the business while your case scoots behind you. Head held high while walking through the airport (think the 80's Virgin Atlantic advert) and always in a hurry!

Now I didn't work for any of the big players out there but got a position with a foreign airline that flew out from Gatwick and Manchester that mainly covered flights when other aircrafts had 'gone tech', meaning their equally ancient planes required some repair of sorts. The start of this journey was an awful lot of fun, it involved exams but mostly a lot of laughs learning the ropes with the new crew. My highlights are definately learning to navigate my way through a smoke filled cabin (mock up of a plane) wearing protective equipment, sliding down one of the evacuation slides on a Boeing 747 (again not a real one) and having to swim fully clothed and jump in a raft. Although I thought I might actually die during this particular activity as I am not a strong swimmer, add clothes to the equation and in real life circumstances I think I would literally be dead in the water. Having said all that I managed and wasn't thrown off the training, clearly borderline suitable in an emergency.

As for the glamourous side of being an air hostess goes, it pretty much dissipates after the training period. After carefully choosing a pair of black high heels for use outside of the plane and a comfortable pair for use inside, I quickly realised that copious amounts of walking would be required and the high heels were to be my arch enemy and the flats would come out as much as possible. I have never known aching in my legs and feet like the time I spent flying (pregnancy was a breeze compared) and there was barely any time to rest during short haul flights. The job itself was not surprisingly straight forward, I was after all a waitress/bar maid/cashier/equipment model/public speaker. For the most part the flights were smooth running, (besides turbulence of course) although did find that with some crew members they always attracted the complainers!

The safety demonstrations were part and parcel of the flights I did and strangely enough I liked this aspect, I used to think it would be terrifying to have all those faces gawping at you while you preceeded to look a fool but was proved wrong. I was meticulous at making sure my kit was ready for use and not tangled having seen some pranks played out on other members of the crew. Getting yourself in a flap with the lifejacket was never a good move and it was always the same poor suckers that were targeted all the time. One guy unwittingly even held up his safety card with 'poof' written on it for all to see (in case you were wondering this was however written from one poof to another).

I was able to visit various parts of the Med before I embarked on the biggest adventure which was to be based in Saudi Arabia for three months. This involved operating flights between Africa and Saudi Arabia taking people on their holy journey to Mecca called the Hadj. I jumped at the opportunity at 21 to go to a country that you can't simply visit as a tourist and the memories will forever be etched in my mind. To say it was an eye opener is an understatement, we saw people from extremely poor backgrounds embarking the flights. Very few knew English and some weren't even sure how to sit in their seats let alone fasten their seatbelts. It was a massive culture shock, woman were balancing their possessions on their heads as they boarded and the smell that engulfed the aircraft took some getting used to. Each flight we needed to fasten the majority of the seatbelts and I still remember sitting in my jumpseat looking down at the bare feet in front of me. If anybody wanted a drink they would simply grab their throats and make a gasping sound and when they used the toilets the doors would remain wide open and you could see people stood crouched on the toilets, they simply didn't know what to do with them. I mentioned in another post about mopping up toilets, I actually refused to do this at the time, although some of the crew did (I have since more than made up for that now in my current job).

There were many shenanigans that went on, most of which people hear rumours of. Yes it's true that lots of the girls and guys did get involved with each other and the flight crew regardless of how old they were and what they looked like. My gay friends brought a whole new meaning to promiscuous and working in a 'dry'country when not teetotal proved very challenging.

Oh and do you know what I never work on my birthday anymore. I worked a flight on my 21st birthday and got a massive bollocking from an old battle axe for not changing the loo roll in the toilets, what a witch.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Beautiful People

Yesterday I took Beastie shopping to a nice brand spanking new shopping centre not too far from us. I went in search of a cute little outfit for a baby shower and also to return a top my husband had bought me from a new store. This store is the sister brand of another well know american store there which is very popular with my husband, he may possibly own all colours and varieties of t shirts ever produced there and yet he still buys more. In his defence I suppose it must be boring being a bloke as they don't have much choice do they, if women could only wear tops and trousers then we might buy every colour under the sun to compensate for limited fashion choices.

Now back to my point of this rant post, when we walked in the store to return the top (and maybe browse for something else) I braced myself for the greeting I would get. The last time we visited there was a buff bloke model complete with the all american smile stood in the doorway with a female counterpart, however this time being that it was a weekday they obviously didn't warrant such luxuries. Anyhow I made it over the threshold at least before being greeted with 'Welcome, be sure to check out our new really cute panty range!'. As I walked on through the shop I could almost picture them sniggering to themselves 'if she could get her fat ass into them!'.

You can get up in the morning and look in the mirror and think to yourself that you don't look that bad today and that your outfit is kind of cool and your arse and tummy is held in place reasonably well for an outing. If you want to reverse all of the above then you need to look no further than this shop, it's purposely designed for what I call the 'beautiful people'. If you don't fit into xs and s sizes then prepare to rake through the piles of clothing to find some heffer sizes, hidden from view, god forbid anybody large enough to fit those sizes would peruse the shelves. So whilst pushing a buggy round a decidely unfriendly shop layout, I started to get annoyed and even more so when it took me a good while to find the tills after every room (meaning small section of the shop) seemed to be a dead end. In every room there were at least two 'models' sporting the brand of clothing and doing their upmost to make all the mere mortals feel like utter poo. I swear I go in feeling one way and come out feeling another, usually with their bag in one hand having purchased something to reward myself for the painful experience but doubting I am thin enough to wear what I have bought.

I am not normally someone that gets that fussed about weight and looking perfect. Admittedly I won't leave the house without my makeup on or hair not straightened (it just looks rubbish not straightened) and I won't knowingly go out wearing something unflattering to my derriere/gut but marketing has a lot to answer for. It's right up there with the size 0 debate and flaunting imaciated models on the catwalk, it's on the high street and everywhere you look. No wonder young girls feel so much pressure, I on the other hand just feel old and quite frankly over the hill! Is this motherhood?

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Liebster Blog Award and Sharing the Love

Yesterday the lovely Liska at New Mum Online very kindly presented me with a blog award.  It's called the Liebster Blog award.

It’s for people with ‘little’ blogs (less than 300 subscribers) to share blog love and spread the word.

The rules are:

1. Post displaying the award (done), linking back to the person who awarded you (done)
2. Choose your own blog picks (below) and let them know they’re awarded (that'll take a while)
3. Hope everyone discovers some new favourites
4. Revel in the blog love!

These are the mummy bloggers below, I think they are all fab bloggers and I do look at their posts regularly. We all seemed to start out around the same time (around about!) so these gals are the chosen ones!

    1. Multiple Mummy
    2. Mummy Bean
    3. SAHMlovingit
    4. Would like to be a Yummy Mummy!

    Nb. I am having my page redesigned by my very clever husband (I am hopeless!) and it's in the process of changing, hopefully tonight! So please come back and see my new layout and header when you can. It's a bit topsy turvy at the moment so ignore the bad layout...


    Monday, 21 March 2011

    Listography - What I want to be when I grow up

    Now I sat for a while trying to remember what I dreamt of becoming when I was a nipper and looking at everyone elses entries so far, mine are to say the least 'bog standard' and 'run of the mill' aspirations, but here they are nonetheless...

    Now I can't remember what order most of these come under, some include the fad at the time that made me dream this was the career for me! See all the other entries at Manana Mama's blog, who is hosting Listography this week as she came up with the great topic.

    1. A Vet

    Coming from my adoration for animals, don't get me wrong I still adore them but not in the obsessive way I did as a child. Born out of watching All Creatures Great and Small, crying at Dances With Wolves because of the horse and wolf dying. Basically any horse gunned down during battle was excruciating for me, sod the humans. Ultimately I realised eventually I was to be academically challenged in this pursuit...and I didn't much like the idea of putting animals down or putting my hand up a cows backside.

    2. A Ballerina

    I briefly pondered over this during my stint doing ballet, which I soon moved on from when I got bored of it and my toes hurt. I remember also convincing my friend to boycott it too much to the disdain of her family. My friend soon moved onto boys anyway!

    3. A Jockey

    Now this is a bizarre one for a girl but for anyone who has seen/read National Velvet you will see why. How I ever thought this a possibility is anyone's guess and I would look absolutely ridiculous (not being teeny weeny).

    4. A Film Star living in New York

    I remember fantasising about living in New York and thinking what a magical place it was. Nevermind the fact at that point the crime rates were sky high. I have since been to New York on my honeymoon and the sheen was well and truly wiped off due to morning sickness, unfortunately memories of New York can evoke the ghastly feelings of nausea! Our timing conceiving pre wedding was superb to say the least...Definately a place to visit again (properly).

    5. An Air Hostess

    This one I actually managed! Hoorah. I did this for 18 months when I was 20 and I can tell you it is not glamourous in the slightest. The highs were visiting some great places, the lows were mopping toilets after people had defaecated on them and staying in mosquito ridden rooms! This is an entirely different story and I may have to write a post about it soon...

    Sunday, 20 March 2011

    Wednesday, 16 March 2011

    The Wheelybug

    So there I was trawling through the internet looking for the next beloved toy for Beastie, a toy that would stand the test of time, when I came across the Wheelybug. Instantly eye catching with their cute designs, the ride on toys are a simple idea with an innovative design, this was instantly a winner with me. 

    They come in two age ranges from 1-3 and 3-5 so we decided on the smaller version. The Wheelybug will move around in any direction due to the castors and boasts a little padding for small bottoms. We originally bought this when Beastie was 9 months old (at Christmas) for when he was bigger. In the early days it was used alongside his walker as an aid and now at nearly 2 it's a massive hit. He whizzes around with impressive coordination and steering ability, so it definately helps with balance etc. However, by far the most common use for it is ramming it at great speed into ankles! As with most toddlers, quick reflexes are required.

    As shown in the picture above, we have the Tiger version, complete with fluffy ears. Beastie considers this inanimate object as one of his friends, so much so I found the Wheelybug placed on his potty accompanied by the sound of pssssssssssssss. If only Beastie could grasp that concept himself...

    All in all this is a great little buy and I would upgrade to the larger version when we need to, if I haven't found another invention by then!

    The Gallery - Trees

    The topic this week for The Gallery is Trees, so far I have seen some pretty impressive photo's and on first glance at this post I thought it not very interesting. I have been proved wrong as some truly are magnificent. This tree was taken on one of my favourite walks by the river, it is beautiful in all seasons but particularly so in the summer with all the boats sailing past.

    Pop over to Tara's Gallery to have a look at all the others...

    Tuesday, 15 March 2011

    Learning Through Play

    Watching your child playing is magical. When they are very young you can sit for ages watching them peacefully sleeping, similarly when they start to get older watching them play without a care in the world. I find it incredible how quickly children learn and discover new skills overnight, every day brings a new discovery. It is as much a learning curve for me as it is for my child.

    We all know that children use their imagination to play with whatever may be to hand. Recently I was unpacking the food shopping and my little helper was actually being 'helpful' on this occasion. Apart from showing his incredible strength lifting all the bottles (shown above) onto the work top he also started counting them, well in his own way 2,3...2,4,3. They learn through through experimenting and through what they see from others, mimicking.

    It's sometimes hard to not want a mess in your house but one lesson I have learnt with having a toddler is that you have to resign yourself to some degree of messiness. Kids need to learn and although it's clearly not permitted to draw on the wall, some mishaps are inevitably going to happen. I still remember being caught painting on my sisters carpet when I was small, I am not sure what thoughts were going through my mind but certainly not fear of repercussions! Here Beastie is having a go with Playdoh, it turned out he was more interested in the pots themselves...

    The most prized possessions at the moment are his fleet of cars/trucks/trains. As long as they can be carried around at all times and lined up in an orderly fashion, without being touched without prior permission then we will have a smooth running day. A day can be anything from building towers with his Mega Blok table to as much as sitting in a garden container to watch CBeebies. In actual fact I would say this garden container was the best £5.98 I have ever spent! It just needs a little imagination...oh to be a kid again.

    This post has been written for March Tots 100 Blog Hop

    Sunday, 13 March 2011

    Saturday, 12 March 2011

    Childhood sweeties!

    Retro sweets is the topic of Kate's Listography this week, I think we all still get excited when we spot sweets from our childhood and although I find most really sweet now, I still love to buy them when I see them.

    Here are my 5 picks...

    I remember getting dip dabs (although in my memory it's dib dabs!) at my local newsagent along with the sherbet tubes with liquorice, which I hate so that part got thrown!

    Wham Bar Original Raspberry Flavour (new larger size)

    These two bars bring back loads of memories of Secondary School, when we had a tuck shop, the shop closed in the first couple of years of being there, but I still have lots of fond memories of queuing up with everyone.

    Cola cubes you could make last forever and then they were all chewy in the centre...

    I used to always buy fizzy strawberry laces in Woolworths when in my local town, they were pretty sour at first but I still loved them!

    Check out everyone else's sweets at Kate Takes 5:

    Exercise is a bore...

    Now exercise is something we all know is good for us, but how many of us actually keep to schedules that we set ourselves?

    I for one have never got on with 'keep fit 'and to this day have never completed a course of classes or committed myself to a gym for more than a few months. I have joined two gyms in the past, both times with high expectations and unrealistic goals. Luckily for me now, I can't fritter money on a gym membership that may be used twice a month if it's lucky!

    I think people are nuts when they tell me that they are heading for a workout straight after work. For starters I need my dinner after a hard days work and I can't exercise on an empty nor full stomach. On the occasions that I did work out I would do so in between meal times then eat like a horse afterwards, so although I had exercised I had also piled in more food than I would normally need and not necessarily healthy either I might add. Thinking to myself, what the hell, I feel invigorated and alive and I deserve it for being so good, after all I will be doing something else towards my fitness regime tomorrow...

    Hmmm, this is where it starts to falter and life gets in the way, or more like, I let life get in the way. If I am tired, feeling a bit under the weather, have a lot to do (fair enough), achey or a bit down in the dumps then that's good enough reason for me to procrastinate. Now exercise is supposed to help people who procrastinate so it's a catch 22 situation with me.

    Davina Foldable Magnetic Cycle.

    Last year during one of my must get fitter/lose the tummy flab phases, my husband bought me an exercise bike. The Davina really is a very good bike and if I could get myself in a regular routine of using it say four times a week I would see some results. So far I have lasted two weeks (way back in 2010) where I did feel pretty good! As for now it's in fits and starts, when Beastie has a nap I rarely remember to jump on it before he wakes up and all good intentions for using it in the evening never really transpire to anything. Now I know I only have myself to blame, I can apply myself to tasks when I really want to but don't we all like the idea of a little extra help for not doing a lot?

    This is where the Slendertone belt can be mentioned, now this little beauty was bought a few years back with the intention of 'assisting' my stomach muscles. If a gadget tells me that it can give the same results as sit ups/stomach crunches then I am going to be interested. Now before you think me foolish, I did check out several reviews before I made my decision, where the vast majority did point out that you DO need to actually do some form of exercise...damn. Clearly this was aimed at the couch potatoes who may be easily duped into believing that they could maintain their current lifestyle (doing absolutely nothing) and achieve a six pack, now even I am not that stupid. Anyhow the belt has been out of the cupboard possibly more than the bike and when using once for up to a month I could certainly feel my stomach muscles stronger than before, only problem is that was beneath the outer layer of flab. I think the real results will be seen when starving yourself on bird food!

    So where does that leave me now? Well I still would like to sort my tummy out before bikini season so who knows maybe the next phase will start very soon. Maybe I will get out Dance Central for the Kinect which I have had since Christmas and not even looked at, it sure looks a lot of fun so I need to pull my finger out! So what do you do when you don't 'get on' with exercise but you 'hit it off with food'. I say carry on as normal because nothing much is going to change until you really want it to...

    Monday, 7 March 2011

    Little Tikes Ruby Red Classic Cozy Coupe (Limited Edition)

    (nb. not my child, but looks very similar!)

    We were at a friends house sat in their garden one sunny Saturday, enjoying an unusually warm day when Beastie came tumbling into the garden and set his eyes on the big, shiny car sitting on the patio. I think this was his first crush, almost love at first sight. For the rest of the afternoon we were able to relax and not worry about Beastie as he was happily cruising around beeping anyone that crossed his path. So from that day on a Little Tikes Coupe was on his must have present list.

    So that day we left our friends garden with one thing in mind, we either had to upgrade to a house or further sacrifice our living space in favour of a mini Silverstone...

    I have to admit I was very naive when I ordered this product, I had assumed a great big box would result in a pre assembled Coupe, this was not the case. I called for my husband who immediately got to work removing the items from the box. It took him about 40 minutes to assemble, you need to have a bit of patience with this and it can be done on your own. If like me you have a partner who enjoys putting things together, use this to your advantage as I did notice him getting a little frustrated!

    The Coupe is advertised as being from 18 months, but in all honesty it can be used before. It comes with a floorboard for toddlers to put their feet on, which is easily removed, and a parent handle for steering. It has an ignition switch and an open and close petrol cap, but little attention is paid to these as he is rarely outside the car! The Coupe we bought was a limited edition in ruby red with sparkling bling, inside the flat the sparkly effect is of course wasted but outside, this really does glisten in the sun. The tyres are made from rugged plastic and the two front tyres can spin 360 degrees, with the back two locked in place, only able to move backwards and forwards. It has a little storage compartment in the back where little toys and a beaker are generally placed. It comes with a fully functioning horn (pathetic beep, but hey this is for kids) and stickers for the mirrors, dashboard and number plate. However, these stickers have long since been ripped off!

    If you have an eager child like I do, then the place where your little ones will want to eat and drink, may well be inside the Coupe, so fast food on the go. The Little Tikes Coupe has proved to be the most popular purchase so far and even better we got it half price at the time, nevertheless it is worth what you pay full price. I don't have a single negative comment about this product, whether you own a house or a flat, this is one present that shouldn't be left off your wish list.

    Glorious sunshine

    Today I feel good, full of optimism! I love days like today when the skies are blue without a cloud in sight and the sunshine makes the air seem hazy. I am not green fingered in the slightest but when the weather perks up it always makes me think about sitting outdoors with beautiful surroundings, so to you and me that means a few pots filled with vibrant coloured flowers that are preferably fragrant!

    The problem that faces me is the fact I have no garden and during the winter months this does not bother me but as soon as the weather perks up, my heart sinks at the prospect of no garden.  Of course now I have a son I feel guilty of this aspect and try to do as many outdoor activities as possible during the summertime. I find myself obsessing over visions of sitting at a table in a back garden, sipping wine on a summers evening, sun on my face. From time to time I do find my envy of other peoples gardens getting out of hand.

    Now on the up side, I do have a lovely home and I do have outdoor space in the shape of a balcony. It is also a reasonably large balcony, with a table and chairs (so I do have one item off the list above). However one aspect we rather stupidly didn't consider when we bought the flat (off plan) was the fact it is north facing! now that mistake wouldn't have been made when looking for a house that had already been built but in our haste to find and secure a flat, this was too good to let go! So as well as having garden envy I also go green looking at the opposing balconies basked in sunshine throughout most of the day/evening. These people also don't know what they're missing as they rarely sit outside! Now if this was me I would have a nice lounging chair and glass of wine in my hand, even if it's a bit nippy, you can put a coat on!

    So every year (it has been 3 years now) I pledge to make the balcony a pleasant haven. Having killed off all the plants bought lovingly by my Mum 2 years ago (pre baby), I plan to start afresh again and actually find my green fingers. After all I have a little helper now to assist with the watering and pruning! I just wish it didn't feel like I was on a stage when out there and that my voice didn't echo for miles. As for hearing private conversations on these balconies? that's another matter altogether...

    Sunday, 6 March 2011

    Friday, 4 March 2011

    Pancake Day - 8th March!

    I love pancakes and every year when Shrove Tuesday comes around I think 'why don't I make them more often?'. Strange that it should take a commercialised event to jog my memory! Especially as we have a love for yorkshire puddings in our house, it's the same ingredients, I guess we are just programmed for savoury.

    Now the reason I mention it is because we celebrated (can you call it that?) pancake day last Tuesday. I mean it was the twenty something of February and I wrongly assumed it was about right. Now with unsurities I would normally consult the fountain of knowledge of such dates (my Mum, most Mums!), she still informs me of the clocks changing year after year and still manages to save the day with these nuggets of information, as I often do forget!

    Now having not long spoken to her and divulged our premature pancake fest, she thought nothing of the matter, having eaten pancakes on the same day. Until I informed her that it is in actual fact the 8th March. Which has answered her question as to why there are loads of pancake making stuff around in the shops! As they say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and great minds think alike, hmmm less of the great in this case.

    Of course it's no hardship, we just get to do it all again on Tuesday, like I needed an excuse!

    Wednesday, 2 March 2011

    Pet hates

    Now this topic was just so irresistible not to join in! I usually have the odd moan and gripe but to have a platform for which to put them on? right up my street...

    Number 1 gripe:

    People who don't listen to you. Now I like to think I am a pretty good listener and think it's very important, if a conversation is interrupted (where I am predominantly the listener) to always make sure I engage the person afterwards with 'so you were saying?', just in case they can't find the right moment to start again. Now when that happens to me and the person who is listening to my story starts talking about something else/to someone else it really irritates me and I find it down right rude. Personally I don't like to think of people being offended and even if the story is completely mind numbing I will try my best to save feelings! Ditzy people tend to be the major offenders (sorry to any ditzy people that are good listeners).

    Number 2 gripe:

    Lights being left on for no reason and being of no benefit to anyone. I am turning into more of an old nag because of this...

    Number 3 gripe:

    People chomping on their food. I usually notice this at work when I just want some quiet time on my break and the sound of someone chomping/slurping is amplified. Even worse is chomping with mouth open, aargh!

    Number 4 gripe:

    Having an untidy house, I can't relax with mess around me. I don't like washing up hanging around, especially as we have an open plan kitchen/lounge. It rings true with me 'tidy house, tidy mind'. It's the bane of my life, I wish I could let things slip a bit more.

    Number 5 gripe:

    Punctuality. I don't like being late for anything, I find it makes me anxious. I would rather turn up somewhere early than be running late. Like Super Amazing Mum, my husband is like hers! He will take his time getting ready and if he is given a time to be somewhere you can usually add an hour on. We have snuck into weddings before mid ceremony, just cringeworthy! So the battle continues for me stood outside the bathroom door saying 'are you ready yet?!'.

    They say it's good to get things off your chest and indeed it has been! Besides all the above I am a pretty contented person, honest.

    See Kate's 5 pet hates on Listography, clink the link below...

    Pet hates

    Simple Pleasures

    Here are a few shots summing up some of the moments that make me happy, check out Tara's gallery below the photo's...

    A nice cold beer in the sunshine

    Enjoying the first day home

    Gorgeous baby toes

    Sheer bliss in the water 

    Take two

    Chocolate cake