Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Goodies in return for fright!

Last week I had what I would describe as a 'lift trauma' in my local House of Fraser. I have never been the sort of person to worry about lifts, nothing has ever happened to me before for me to have reason to be cautious. I am not claustrophobic or fearful of the lift getting stuck. The main thing that would worry me would be how long I might be stuck for in case I should need the loo!

So I got into one of the lifts with Beastie as I regularly do and went up to the top department, had a mooch around and got back in again to return to the ground floor. Shortly after I pressed the button, the lift shuddered, which was a little alarming but I told myself to remain calm.  Then as I thought it was going to go down at a normal speed it suddenly lunged down, what seemed an entire floor, then stopped. Then all these malfunction messages starting playing, swiftly followed by 'you are safe, please remain calm'. Which of course made me panic, those messages always have the reverse effect. Then it shot down again. By this point I felt a moment of dread and my only thought was 'no please don't crash to the ground as I have my baby in here'. 

The lift then carried on as normal and reached the ground floor where the doors casually opened announcing we had indeed arrived (in one piece). I walked out of the lift on automatic and passed a sales assistant stopping to tell her that no one must use the lift as I had just had a scary experience. She was very apologetic and then I left the store. It wasn't until I had reached another shop before I realised how much it had affected me. I picked up a dress and my hand was shaking all over the place.

My husband was very angry about what had happened to me and complained to the store. The reason being that the lifts have always been unreliable and unacceptable considering it is a reasonably new store. We are not complainers on the whole, we don't try and get a free lunch just for the sake of it but it was the principle that mattered here. The store manager replied very quickly and she was extremely professional, even if she may have doubted my story. The very next day she confirmed that the engineers had indeed found a fault, not a serious fault but a fault non the less that would have caused the lift to terrify me malfunction.

To cut a long story short, we have been thoroughly pleased with the way the manager handled our complaint, acting promptly and showing compassion. I know they have a reputation to uphold at the end of the day but customer service like this goes a long way...I can safely say I have used lifts since and I am not a jibbering wreck. I honestly don't know how I would manage if I had developed a fear, I can see how people do.

Incidentally we were offered a 'free lunch' and I received this box of beauty treats as a way of apology.

Beautiful box 

With some lovely goodies inside

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Cybermummy Fever

After all the hype surrounding Cybermummy and the build up last week it seems strange that it has been and gone. Like a holiday, you look forward to it so much and then it's over in a flash. Already everyone is looking forward to next year! Not that we are wishing our lives away or anything...

When I started blogging somewhat randomly back in February, I would never have imagined attending a conference about blogging. I wasn't really 'au fait' with blogs apart from ones I had just stumbled across when searching on the internet. I honestly thought it would be a novelty for a couple of weeks and if it wasn't for Brit Mums accepting me as a member (after some time!) it would most likely have fizzled out pretty quickly. Soon after I was accepted I was sucked into the community and the rest is history. With a little encouragement I bought a ticket for Cybermummy, simply to see what it was all about.

@mummydaddyme @workinglonmummy


Since buying the ticket I have made some great friends and it was a fantastic opportunity to finally meet them all and put faces to online personas. I have to say the majority were exactly as I expected. Having already met the lovely Multiple Mummy and New Mum Online at a previous event, it didn't feel quite so strange. What was great though was meeting Mummy Daddy and me Makes Three as we have formed a bond through our blogs and being newbies together. It was a pleasure to meet Working London Mummy and two of the girls I remember from the very first days of blogging who were Would Like to be a Yummy Mummy and her sister Not Yet a Yummy Mummy. They come across as really friendly on their blogs and in person they were just the same, brilliant company and like minded. I don't think there was a moment that we didn't have something to say to each other. Apart from being like naughty school children during the sessions, where we were reduced to note passing and tweeting.

I could go on naming everybody I met but they know who they are and it was good to see all the #MUMenTUM girls in one place including The Grumpinator and PR Mummy. We are hoping to meet up again soon, where we are not sure but it all sounds good fun.

@wouldliketobe @NotYetaYummyMum  Me @mummydaddyme

@MultipleMummy @anneglynethomas @NewMumOnline @grumpinator

@alysonsblog @SAHMlovingit

The event was held at The Brewery in London and it was an impressive venue, I loved the funky purple lighting. I immediately knew that the venue was perfect for the conference. From the moment I was dropped off it was a whirlwind of activity, from registration, meeting bloggers I had arranged to meet and going straight into the exhibit room. We didn't know where to start and it felt a bit like Christmas morning. I felt this urge to make a mad dash round grabbing all the goodie bags! Sadly I do get quite excited about goodie bags regardless of their contents. On this occasion I was pleasantly surprised despite the pain endured carrying the bags around all day. I think a trolley bag is in order next year, it may not be very cool but I don't care, it's a necessity.

Besides being completely overwhelmed by the amount of stands to visit, competition/form filling, goodie bags to carry and vast amounts of people to meet the day had some great content and was superbly organised. It was inspiring to listen to Sarah Brown deliver a speech (even though I needed it pointing out who she was) and I found Rachel Johnson engaging, that lady holds her own. The workshops required a little more focus on my part but all valuable tips to take away.

I particularly loved the key notes at the end where a selection of bloggers read out a popular post of their own. They were witty, uplifting, saddening, poignant and hilarious. There were tears of laughter and sorrow. Truly moving.

While the key notes were being read the after party was being prepared and it ended the day perfectly. We all got a chance to mingle whilst drinking wine and eating nibbles which were provided courtesy of Three. I am so very glad I took the plunge and bought my ticket to Cybermummy11, I wouldn't have missed the opportunity for the world.

Mummy and the Beastie - It had to be done

Silent Sunday...

Silent Sunday

Friday, 24 June 2011

The Curse of Cybermummy Eve!

I am having a seriously bad day. Really bad. It started off on the wrong footing and has steadily gone down hill ever since. I am in the safety of my home now thank goodness, I think I need to stay put all day now as it appears to be my Friday the 13th!

So the run of events started when my debit card wouldn't work in the card machine in a shop (and it was for a refund!) and then when I tried to withdraw some money from a cash machine before paying for the car park to go home. The machine said there was a problem reading my card so I tried another two machines before stropping over to the other side of town to go into my bank. Luckily the lady in Barclays saw I was looking a bit crazed my impatience and confirmed my card was kaputt and ordered a new one for me. I simply had to go to the cashier and get some cash out. She asked how I would like the money and I said it didn't matter. What a stupid mare, putting £20 in the car park payment machine has not been my brightest idea. I don't think I have ever had so much change (I never have change) and it took me about ten minutes to retrieve all the money. There was even a man wiping the top of one of the machines and I am sure I heard him sniggering.

Armed with all my change and a frantic search for the ticket I mislaid in my bag once in the car, we popped to Asda to get some nappies. It was heaving but I only wanted just one box of nappies, surely Beastie would be able to manage walking in there with me for just that? Oh no it turned out to be one mighty struggle involving carrying and half dragging him down the aisles. The nappy box broke and there was a tantrum at the till.

I am on my way to chilling out now I have been sat here letting it all out whilst drinking a cup of tea. Tea is my saviour, as long as I get to drink it piping hot! which isn't very often. After making my cup of tea I then replaced the milk in the fridge rather heavy handed and the lid fell off, milk splashed everywhere in the fridge, the cupboards and my arm. I can literally feel my blood pressure rising.

Any idea of how to break the cycle of events today? is anyone superstitious? The way I see it is that I am getting it all out of the way for tomorrow at Cybermummy. I am hoping it's a good omen.

As I was finishing off this post I failed to notice that Beastie was casually pouring some olive oil into the water jug for the iron, misjudging it every time *sigh at MORE mess*.

Actually the tea is doing nothing, I need a proper drink now but I guess that will have to wait until tomorrow...

See you all there!


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Little Charley Bear

We were sent a copy of the first ever DVD of Little Charley Bear "Are you there, Charley Bear?" to review prior to its release on the 6th June. Charley Bear is an enchanting CGI infant series about an imaginative and playful bear called Charley. Under the watchful eye of his friend, the Narrator, this adorable little bear uses his imagination to play and go on adventures where he discovers new things about himself and the world around him through active role play. The DVD is narrated my new Dad James Corden, he seems to be pretty well liked so I would say this adds to the show. He provides Charley with advice and guidance throughout the show.

Now if you have a child and watch CBeebies (as it used to be aired on there) then you will most likely be familiar with this series. I looked at it blankly and it wasn't until we had it playing that I instantly recognised the catchy theme tune. It had been on many a time and I had simply not noticed, as it goes with many of the shows! There are not many shows that grab Beasties attention for long so we thought we would give this DVD a try.

We sat down to watch a couple of the episodes and Beastie was transfixed for some time. There are seven separate stories that run consecutively which depending on your child's attention span can last a little while. The stories themselves are just long enough to hold attention and are aimed at children up to four years. Beastie did wander off after a couple of episdoes, but don't hold that against him...

All in all this is a rather cute little bear with a great imagination, which is of course what children mostly love.

If you haven't already seen this show for yourself you can see him weekdays on BBC2 at 10.10 am or buy the DVD from Amazon and Tesco. You can even like him on Facebook too!

Nb. I was kindly sent this DVD to review. I have shared the experience and expressed views that are entirely my own.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Make Me Yummy

Unfortunately I haven't received lots of goodies through the post to try out and share my views. What I can do is share with you what has been working great since away on holiday and since I have returned, in my quest to keep my skin looking as bronzed as it can be for as long as possible.

This is the Nivea cream I have been using. In a way this is a review as well as a recommendation as I was kindly given a goodie bag creams when I was invited to attend the Nivea and Ubisoft event back in May.

Now I love a good moisturiser but can be terrible at being bothered remembering to slather lots of cream on. That was until I had a tan to maintain, to see me through until Cybermummy. I have been applying this cream morning and evening, using copious amounts and so far my skin feels great. It isn't too heavy and smells really lovely, it actually reminds me of holidays as the smell is similar to some sun creams. So if you still want a reminder of your holiday gone by (like me) then you will like this product.

As I have been applying it before I head out in the morning, I have found it has dried really quickly and left no residue on my clothes. This one is for dry skin with macadamia oil and is from the Q10 range designed for firming when elasticity is lost. I wouldn't normally buy firming body creams, but seeing as I am now in my thirties and making educated choices with regards to face creams, it seems only right that I should be choosing the same for the rest of my body.

With two applications a day it is also lasting well so far, I shall definitely be buy some more once it runs out, I may end up pale and interesting soon but as least my skin will be as soft as a baby's bottom.

Have a look at Karens blog hop over at would like to be a yummy mummy...


The Holiday

I couldn't return from my holiday and not write a post about it. With all holidays they have their ups and downs and I am pleased to say this holiday was by far the most smooth running one we have had with Beastie so far. Ok so we have only had four with him to date but that's not bad for him seeing as he is only two years old. Having said all that we wouldn't be able to have such lovely breaks away if it wasn't for my parents deciding to up sticks and move abroad to somewhere much nicer. So thanks Mum and Dad.

My main worry with holidays is the dreaded airport. As a kid I used to love the whole experience, hard not to when you are so excited about flying (if you like flying that is) and your parents are there to deal with your every whim. Fast forward a few years later and it's me dealing with every whim. I took Beastie on his first flight when he was three months old, on my own. It was quite scary stuff but we managed just fine. The days of the Baby Bjorn carrier are fondly remembered, how simple the journey had been in comparison to today.

We went away at Christmas and the airport saga flying out was truly horrendous. Beastie wanted to run everywhere like a hooligan and would not stay in one place, let alone his buggy.  On closer inspection it seemed he was the only child who was making a scene. To make matters worse it was announced we were to be delayed by a few hours once we had all been sent to the boarding gate. Why oh why they don't know these details before they make everyone queue. We all assumed it was the snow (which was to later close the airport) but it was in fact a missing pilot. Anyhow we made it aboard eventually and the flight was much the same as the airport but obviously much more confined.  I hold my hat off to any long haulers out there!

Anyway this time around we fared much better, we got there hitch free and I arrived minus a stinking cold this time too. We were blessed with the best weather I have known for the entirety of our stay and it was nice to just get away from it all for a bit. I made a conscious effort to not be so heavily involved with my emails and twitter account. What's a week in your life? after all my blog is still here, if only a tad neglected.

The most enjoyable part of the holiday was seeing Beastie have such a ball. As we live in a flat we don't have a garden for him to enjoy and it was so lovely to see him happily playing/eating/sleeping outdoors. We would love for him to have more opportunity to do that, you can't beat the freedom of being outdoors.

I have now made a pledge that I am going to make more of an effort to take him swimming on a more regular basis. He excelled with his armbands and was pretty fearless in the water. He was a little more wary of the sea but non the less a little trooper. We were to say the least a little harrassed by the whole beach experience so we left it at just one day this time round.

When we returned we got to visit the new terminal at Alicante airport. It was huge and very confusing and it made us long for the old one that was easy peasy to navigate round. Don't even ask how much the food cost, I must have been stuck in a time warp somewhere. What really irritated us was the fact that people with young children were not called to board first. We were stuck right at the back of the queue and some kind people ahead of us told us to go up front as they usually let you on. The check in girl huffed and made an excuse about having already made an announcement (which she hadn't) and grudgingly let us through. I know we shouldn't expect special treatment but it is common sense for us to board earlier. When I used to travel pre child I would never expect to be boarding first. What I have learnt is that we need to be more pushy from now on!

Here is Beastie trying to knock some teeth out...

MUMenTUM - Monday Check in 7

So I am back refreshed from my holiday and starting this week with some commitment by writing this long overdue post. I did mention that my holiday was 'home from home' and that I would be tweeting and throwing in a post or two for which I didn't manage (posting at least). I think you will all agree that when you are on holiday you do need to escape a little, not that I needed to escape from blogging but just to not do a lot and not spend too much time thinking and planning. Thankfully I didn't need to think too much besides putting all my efforts into one crummy book that didn't fulfil it's promise, I completed it with a bit of page skipping!

Anyway back to the subject of this post, MUMenTUM. I have been guilty of neglecting the girls, although I have been following their shenanigans on twitter and the emails I have been copied into. So I fully expect to be whipped back into shape now my holiday is over. I may have a tan (which is diminishing before my eyes) but I have put a couple of pounds on. To be honest though I very often fluctuate a few pounds so I am not too worried about that (lots of wine and food is a no brainer) it's the fact I never really know what to go on. If I weighed myself and I had I had lost a pound or two then I wouldn't credit myself with having achieved anything. Give me five pounds and we would be talking, now I do realise that will require some work on my part...

I also forgot to add this picture earlier that my husband snapped with MUMenTUM in mind. What a meany but it puts our weight into perspective and if she can flaunt it anyone can!

I started this post on Sunday and have only just come back to it now. After a few topsy turvy weeks, life is returning to normal this week. I have lots of reading and posting to do so without further a do I won't ramble on anymore, I just wanted to add this token post and show my support to the group :-)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Friday, 10 June 2011

Good Bloggers Pay it Forward: Blog Award

I woke up this morning, earlier than I would have wanted, but pleased to see I had received an award from Liska at New Mum Online. I have known Liska since the very early days of starting out blogging (so only a few months back) and she has become a firm friend on here. I have even met her and it comes as no surprise that she is just as lovely as she appears online. She is also the 'chief' of MUMenTUM so is always passing on positive vibes. Here she has awarded me the tag below:

The rules are as follows:

1. Put the badge at the top of your post

2. Refer to the lovely blogger who awarded it

3. Pass it on to five others

My choices are for some of the MUMenTUM ladies (just some as there are a few of us now and Liska has covered some girls in hers). 

  1. mummy, daddy and me makes three @mummydaddyme
  2. The Crazy Kitchen @jessies_online
  3. Working London Mummy @workinglonmummy
  4. Mother's Always Right @mothersright
  5. PR Mummy @Clairewill
So these are my chosen ladies. I wanted to get it done before I rush around like a blue arsed fly this morning trying to get everything sorted for our holiday. I can feel it starting to overwhelm me already, same old story though! I have my trusted list though...

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

MUMenTUM - Monday Check in 5

Well my Monday check in is a bit late, by two days! This has been the first chance I have actually had to sit down and write. Liska at New Mum Online has been doing a sterling job of keeping everyone in contact and of course creating the list of Biogs, if you haven't seen this you should take a look.

First of all I will confess that my original MUMenTUM plan isn't going as planned. I haven't been using the exercise bike or Kinect at all (gasp) and the healthy eating, well not quite so healthy. For me I know it's all about being in the right frame of mind, unfortunately I all too easily press the 'override button'. I feel no point being in this group if you are not honest about what you have or haven't done so here I am laying it bare. I will say the reason I have not been focused is due to a couple of bereavements in my family and exercise has quite frankly been the last thing on my mind.

On a brighter note, we are off on our hols soon and I shall still be continuing with the ladies. As it's my parents place, it's home from home so I will still be writing my posts and tweeting occasionally. Weather permitting I will be taking to swimming (once I have finished the lengthly procedure of getting into the pool!) and a bit of volleyball (in the pool). Accompanied of course by a bit of lounging, (I can dream) with a book in one hand and a sangria in the other.

However, I haven't been too idle this week with being super busy at work and today I can tick the exercise box. I walked into town and back this morning, so not including a couple of hours at the shops, I walked for an hour and twenty minutes. Rather brisk walking as well on the way back as it kept intermittently raining! fantastic with flip flops on. The reason I walked into town? the car was at the garage. When the weather is lovely though, I see no reason not to walk a bit more. I just wish it was a bit more scenic around my way.

I also very almost didn't find a new bikini this morning. This has never happened to me and although I am not going to a beach resort where you need a few, I wanted at least one new one. I ended up with a lovely polka dot number (not itsy bitsy though!) and I actually think I look ok. So despite doing sod all in the run up to my holiday, I think I might just pass in this bikini.

I shall leave you with Beastie sporting his new sunglasses for his holiday (label and all).. he has finally fallen asleep after point blank refusing to all day, hoorah!!

Ladies, I shall get Daddybeastie to change the badge below to MUMenTUM as promised...tonight, I promise. It's been bugging me.

Sunday, 5 June 2011