Tuesday, 24 November 2009

What Katie did next...

So the Saga continues and just as Katie Price was winning me around with her "normal" down to earth persona and team player attitude she goes and pulls another publicity stunt and her true colours shine through, and to think i was actually beginning to feel sorry for her!

"The pricey" as she so annoyingly refers to herself ( i mean only idiots refer to themselves in the third person) has gone and dumped another fool live on national TV in Australia, it appears to be a failed attempt at a reconciliation with her ex Husband Peter Andre. I can't say it's a surprise as nothing she does has any shock value anymore, she's over exposed and desperate but why on earth is she putting her kids through this circus?

Peter Andre is no saint, of course it's a two way street and the way she has been vilified and thrown to the lions is absurd, it takes two to tango. Yet her Ex husband is discreet about his love life or lack of (yeah right your fooling no one Pete) and until Jordan, Kate, Katie, the pricey whatever she's calling herself today learns the meaning of the word she's going to continue on this train wreck taking her poor innocent kids along for the ride.

As for Alex i doubt he'll be shedding any tears, he's used her just as much as she used him and I'm sure he'll be making a tidy profit off the back of their liaison for a few years to come, cynical me? Never.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Spreading the love

So I thought I'd do a good dead for the day and spread the word about some great sites out there (this is NOT a sponsored post)purely out of the goodness of my heart, yes I'm just that kind of girl!

If any new parents or parents to be out there are in need of a baby sleeping bag then look no further than The dream bag Company. This is, in my opinion, the best invention EVER and every parent should own a sleeping bag for their babies they offer peace of mind and ensure your little bundles of joy are always nice and toastie. Now i have to admit i may be a little biased as this site is run by a very good friend of mine Maria, it's a family run business and the quality of the bags are fantastic, i used them for all my girls. If you hop on over to the site you'll also see my adorable children modelling the sleeping bags(I did it as a favour in exchange for some gorgeous photos)and if you request a brochure my beautiful little Eva is on the front cover!

Secondly The lovely Emily over at Brits In Bosnia has asked me to mention the release of the X factor single "You are not alone" which is raising funds for Great Ormand Street Hospital. I was happy to oblige as i think it's a fantastic cause and i was in floods of tears on Saturday whilst watching this http://www.gosh.org/x-factor/the-charity-single/the-story-so-far/oscar/ Please everyone go out and buy the single, lets help little Oscar and all those other Children too.

"All 12 of this year’s X Factor finalists have released a fantastic cover of Michael Jackson’s You Are Not Alone in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

If you want to find out why Great Ormond Street Hospital needs your support please see Oscar’s video. http://www.gosh.org/x-factor/the-charity-single/the-story-so-far/oscar/ Anyone who watched X Factor on Sunday night will know that Oscar really was the star of the show!

Thousands of children just like Oscar, who really is an inspiration to us all, need the help of the amazing staff at GOSH and this single will help sick children from across the UK to get better. Some of the patients of Great Ormond Street Hospital appear in the official music video launched with the single on Sunday night http://xfactor.itv.com/2009/videos/player/item_200784.htm and if you watch this then I am sure you won’t fail to want to support them.

We are asking for everyone’s support in helping this single make the number one spot this weekend. Sony are donating all profits from the sale of the single and a number of retailers are also very kindly donating all their profits from the sale of the single (find out which ones by clicking here http://www.gosh.org/x-factor/the-charity-single/buy/ ). Please ask everyone you know to buy/download this single now – it doesn’t cost much but every single bought will make an incredible difference to the sickest children in the UK right now."

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Bills, Bills, Bills

I've had one hell of a morning and have spent the best part of three hours in floods of tears over an astronomical electricity bill that floated through my letterbox this morning. Scottish Power have kindly sent a YEARLY estimate to the tune of £1,987.76!!!

Yes that's right in the thousands, are they shitting me? I know i have four kids and a washing machine that's constantly doing a cycle but surely they cannot be serious? Well after several conversations with a clueless and unhelpful customer service representative (oh the irony) and getting nowhere I've left it in the capable hands of Mr Bold.

My stomach's in knots and it's completely ruined my day, I'm now wondering how to reduce the amount of electricity we use (no more tumble dryer sob)as well as all our other outgoings and am putting my frugal hat on trying to come up with ideas how to save some pennies. Whilst googling "how to feed a family for £30 a week"(we average £120 at the moment including nappies etc) i stumbled across this picture

The Ayme family of Tingo Ecuador survive on £31.55 between 9 of them a week. The photograph was taken as part of an article about what the world eats which can be found Here. Look at their lovely faces. I now feel slightly embarrassed and unappreciative, I'm busy worrying about an electric bill when this family doesn't even have an electric supply. It's a very sobering sight and has helped put my troubles in to perspective, i just need to learn how to be content with my lot and not to sweat the small stuff.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A change of plan!

If you happened to read my recent post Flower power then you'll be aware I'm all set to become a florist! Well there's been a slight change of plan, after realising how much work and knowledge of the subject floristry entails we have now decided it might be best to open the shop my husband is leasing as wait for it.......A fancy dress shop!

I know, couldn't be further away from a shop full of flowers but it's a lot less pressure and depending on how well the shop does we can look into the florist idea at a later date once we are all set up. The shop has a massive upstairs which would be ideal for us to move the fancy dress to and we can use the downstairs as a home ware/florists.

So has anybody any ideas on names for the shop?? I'm wracking my brains for something not too tacky and original, let me know if you come up with anything!

Top Tune Tuesday

I've decided to do a weekly Tuesday feature and include a "top tune" once a week, this week I'm kicking it off with Chaka Khan's "Ain't nobody." This is one of my favourite dance tracks and it makes me want to hit the dance floor every time i hear it....enjoy!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Rules for a perfect Family Christmas

When an email popped up asking me if i would like to participate in the John Lewis "Rules" for the perfect family Christmas campaign, i couldn't wait to get involved and compile my very own list of favourite rules. Having very young children we haven't yet got into the full swing of our own "Traditions" at Christmas time. However times are a changing, now the twins are past the baby stage this should be the first proper Christmas all six of us can enjoy and join in together. I hope the list i have come up with will be the beginning of a life long Christmas tradition and something which the girls will continue with their own families when they've eventually flown the nest (I'm counting down the days).

1) Nothing says Christmas more than a good old Panto, so the day before Christmas Eve (23rd December) I take my big girls along with my mum to watch the local Big Production. Last year it was Cinderella and we spoke to Les Dennis in the middle of Lime Street Station as he was grabbing a Costa Coffee, he was very friendly and lovely to my girls. This year it's Peter Pan and we can't wait!

2)Christmas Eve is "Craft day." The girls dress up in their most festive outfits, last year it was red Santa dresses and we have a craft afternoon making star shaped biscuits to adorn the tree and reindeer dust from glitter, oats and shiny star shapes. We finish off with lots of mince pies and chocolate milk or mulled wine for mummy.

3) The girls Scatter their Reindeer dust onto the front lawn and then leave out the mandatory mince pie, pint of milk and a carrot for Rudolph.

4) 7pm Christmas Eve mass - We probably won't make it this year due to the twins early bedtime but I'm hoping by next year this will be the one family tradition we stick too every year. It's important to remember the true meaning of the holidays and to Celebrate properly. hopefully the children will realise there is more to Christmas than just presents!

5)We let the children open one present each before bedtime on Christmas Eve which is always festive Pyjamas. This ensures they look the part on the hundreds of pictures taken the next morning of them ripping open all their presents.

6) Relatives - We visit my parents at 10am to get the obligatory gift swap out the way and ensure they see the grand kids. This means we are safely back at home by 12pm and have the rest of the day to do as we please- no family politics and rules to adhere too. Instead we spend the day putting batteries into numerous plastic toys and splitting up several squabbles over who got the most presents from Santa.

7) A proper brunch complete with bucks fizz and smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and croissants, this helps to line the stomach in preparation for that huge tin of quality streets we'll inevitably polish off before dinner time.

8)Christmas Dinner is served promptly at 3pm with all the trimmings including stuffing and sprouts. We start our three course meal in style with a prawn salad (soup for the kids) but we NEVER finish it off with Christmas pudding - yuck. We prefer a blueberry cheesecake or good old mince pies with cream.

9) Lots of Wine to wash down your meal and it wouldn't be Christmas without pulling a cracker or ten!

10) The "GRINCH"- Christmas would most certainly not be the same without a bit of Jim Carey and "hooville." We watch this on DVD religiously every Christmas evening. Afterwards we play with the kids latest board games and stuff ourselves full of chocolates and turkey butties.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Feeling like the worlds worst mum....AGAIN!

You know this past couple of weeks I've been so preoccupied with birthdays, parties, christenings, half term, vomiting kids, parties and more birthday's that I've sort of taken my eye of the ball in respect of my mothering duties. The house is in serious disarray, piles of ironing are strewn all over the house in every single room and i haven't cooked a proper "made-from-scratch" meal in ages. Not only that but the kids have been skipping their daily baths, not brushing their teeth at night and Sofia's fingernails look like they're growing mushrooms underneath them...OK so i exaggerated about the last one but still, I'm a bad mum!

Not only is their personal hygiene on a down ward spiral but i haven't been consistent with their bedtime stories and worse I've turned a blind eye to Mia's homework, she's now two weeks behind schedule and has misplaced her reading book!!!

Today my parental skills (or lack off) have come in for serious questioning when i arrived at school to collect Mia, to my horror i realised I'd completely missed Mia's parents evening the night before. One of the parents asked me how it went and it suddenly dawned on me......holy shit...I didn't show up!! The mums horrified expression did little to quell my shame and i set off to apologise to Mia's teacher with my tail between my legs. The teacher couldn't have made me feel any smaller when she informed me (rather to gleefully i might add) that Mia had become very upset this afternoon during story time when she realised her mummy and daddy had missed the parents evening and didn't get to see her work. I was informed to inquire about making another appointment on Monday and she might be able to fit me in for 5mins after school one evening.

Mia carried on the torture all the way home and really milked it with lines like "But mummy you didn't see all my very hard work" and "why has every one else's mums and dads been to parents evening but not mine?"

I 'm off now to compile an action plan, i think i need to concert all my energies into the kids and pick up my game, i suppose " you only get out what you put in."

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Free letters from santa

Sorry, i know it' still a little early to talk Christmas but like they say "fail to prepare, prepare to fail." I never adhere to this motto however, whilst i was busy surfing the net last night (avoiding the housework) i stumbled across these fab and FREE Christmas letters from santa Claus. All you have to do is pick one of the five designs, add the information you want the letter to include such as your home town and child's name and they then email you straight away with your free down loadable Santa letter. I can't wait to see Mia and Sofia's face when their very own letter arrives from the postman and I'm also going to send the letters to my friends children too. For all those big kids out there you could even send them letters as your never to old for Father Christmas right? My 23 year old sister is going to love her Santa letter, she's always been reluctant to grow up and what better way to indulge her inner five year old!

The website www.freelettersfromsantaclaus.com also provide free printable Christmas stories with a huge selection of choice ranging from "the boy who laughed at Christmas" to "Mama's happy Christmas." Below is my personal favourite, i can just imagine us all snuggled up in front of the fire on Christmas Eve reading this story together.

A STORY OF THE CHRIST-CHILD (A German legend for Christmas eve)

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, on the night before Christmas, a little child was wandering all alone through the streets of a great city. There were many people on the street, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, uncles and aunts, and even gray-haired grandfathers and grandmothers, all of whom were hurrying home with bundles of presents for each other and for their little ones. Fine carriages rolled by, express wagons rattled past, even old carts were pressed into service, and all things seemed in a hurry and glad with expectation of the coming Christmas morning.

From some of the windows bright lights were already beginning to stream until it was almost as bright as day. But the little child seemed to have no home, and wandered about listlessly from street to street. No one took any notice of him except perhaps Jack Frost, who bit his bare toes and made the ends of his fingers tingle. The north wind, too, seemed to notice the child, for it blew against him and pierced his ragged garments through and through, causing him to shiver with cold. Home after home he passed, looking with longing eyes through the windows, in upon the glad, happy children, most of whom were helping to trim the Christmas trees for the coming morrow.

"Surely," said the child to himself, "where there is so must gladness and happiness, some of it may be for me." So with timid steps he approached a large and handsome house. Through the windows, he could see a tall and stately Christmas tree already lighted. Many presents hung upon it. Its green boughs were trimmed with gold and silver ornaments. Slowly he climbed up the broad steps and gently rapped at the door. It was opened by a large man-servant. He had a kindly face, although his voice was deep and gruff. He looked at the little child for a moment, then sadly shook his head and said, "Go down off the steps. There is no room here for such as you." He looked sorry as he spoke; possibly he remembered his own little ones at home, and was glad that they were not out in this cold and bitter night. Through the open door a bright light shone, and the warm air, filled with fragrance of the Christmas pine, rushed out from the inner room and greeted the little wanderer with a kiss. As the child turned back into the cold and darkness, he wondered why the footman had spoken thus, for surely, thought he, those little children would love to have another companion join them in their joyous Christmas festival. But the little children inside did not even know that he had knocked at the door.

The street grew colder and darker as the child passed on. He went sadly forward, saying to himself, "Is there no one in all this great city who will share the Christmas with me?" Farther and farther down the street he wandered, to where the homes were not so large and beautiful. There seemed to be little children inside of nearly all the houses. They were dancing and frolicking about. Christmas trees could be seen in nearly every window, with beautiful dolls and trumpets and picture-books and balls and tops and other dainty toys hung upon them. In one window the child noticed a little lamb made of soft white wool. Around its neck was tied a red ribbon. It had evidently been hung on the tree for one of the children. The little stranger stopped before this window and looked long and earnestly at the beautiful things inside, but most of all was he drawn toward the white lamb. At last creeping up to the window-pane, he gently tapped upon it. A little girl came to the window and looked out into the dark street where the snow had now begun to fall. She saw the child, but she only frowned and shook her head and said, "Go away and come some other time. We are too busy to take care of you now." Back into the dark, cold streets he turned again. The wind was whirling past him and seemed to say, "Hurry on, hurry on, we have no time to stop. 'Tis Christmas Eve and everybody is in a hurry to-night."

Again and again the little child rapped softly at door or window-pane. At each place he was refused admission. One mother feared he might have some ugly disease which her darlings would catch; another father said he had only enough for his own children and none to spare for beggars. Still another told him to go home where he belonged, and not to trouble other folks.

The hours passed; later grew the night, and colder grew the wind, and darker seemed the street. Farther and farther the little one wandered. There was scarcely any one left upon the street by this time, and the few who remained did not seem to see the child, when suddenly ahead of him there appeared a bright, single ray of light. It shone through the darkness into the child's eyes. He looked up smilingly and said, "I will go where the small light beckons, perhaps they will share their Christmas with me."

Hurrying past all the other houses, he soon reached the end of the street and went straight up to the window from which the light was streaming. It was a poor, little, low house, but the child cared not for that. The light seemed still to call him in. From what do you suppose the light came? Nothing but a tallow candle which had been placed in an old cup with a broken handle, in the window, as a glad token of Christmas Eve. There was neither curtain nor shade to the small, square window and as the little child looked in he saw standing upon a neat wooden table a branch of a Christmas tree. The room was plainly furnished but it was very clean. Near the fireplace sat a lovely faced mother with a little two-year-old on her knee and an older child beside her. The two children were looking into their mother's face and listening to a story. She must have been telling them a Christmas story, I think. A few bright coals were burning in the fireplace, and all seemed light and warm within.

The little wanderer crept closer and closer to the window-pane. So sweet was the mother's face, so loving seemed the little children, that at last he took courage and tapped gently, very gently on the door. The mother stopped talking, the little children looked up. "What was that, mother?" asked the little girl at her side. "I think it was some one tapping on the door," replied the mother. "Run as quickly as you can and open it, dear, for it is a bitter cold night to keep any one waiting in this storm." "Oh, mother, I think it was the bough of the tree tapping against the window-pane," said the little girl. "Do please go on with our story." Again the little wanderer tapped upon the door. "My child, my child," exclaimed the mother, rising, "that certainly was a rap on the door. Run quickly and open it. No one must be left out in the cold on our beautiful Christmas Eve."

The child ran to the door and threw it wide open. The mother saw the ragged stranger standing without, cold and shivering, with bare head and almost bare feet. She held out both hands and drew him into the warm, bright room. "You poor, dear child," was all she said, and putting her arms around him, she drew him close to her breast. "He is very cold, my children," she exclaimed. "We must warm him." "And," added the little girl, "we must love him and give him some of our Christmas, too." "Yes," said the mother, "but first let us warm him--"

The mother sat down by the fire with the little child on her lap, and her own little ones warmed his half-frozen hands in theirs. The mother smoothed his tangled curls, and, bending low over his head, kissed the child's face. She gathered the three little ones in her arms and the candle and the fire light shone over them. For a moment the room was very still. By and by the little girl said softly, to her mother, "May we not light the Christmas tree, and let him see how beautiful it looks?" "Yes," said the mother. With that she seated the child on a low stool beside the fire, and went herself to fetch the few simple ornaments which from year to year she had saved for her children's Christmas tree. They were soon so busy that they did not notice the room had filled with a strange and brilliant light. They turned and looked at the spot where the little wanderer sat. His ragged clothes had changed to garments white and beautiful; his tangled curls seemed like a halo of golden light about his head; but most glorious of all was his face, which shone with a light so dazzling that they could scarcely look upon it.

In silent wonder they gazed at the child. Their little room seemed to grow larger and larger, until it was as wide as the whole world, the roof of their low house seemed to expand and rise, until it reached to the sky.

With a sweet and gentle smile the wonderful child looked upon them for a moment, and then slowly rose and floated through the air, above the treetops, beyond the church spire, higher even than the clouds themselves, until he appeared to them to be a shining star in the sky above. At last he disappeared from sight. The astonished children turned in hushed awe to their mother, and said in a whisper, "Oh, mother, it was the Christ-Child, was it not?" And the mother answered in a low tone, "Yes."

And it is said, dear children, that each Christmas Eve the little Christ-Child wanders through some town or village, and those who receive him and take him into their homes and hearts have given to them this marvellous vision which is denied to others.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Slummy mummy

This is what happens when you leave two destructive two year olds and a loose cannon of a four year old to their own devices, whilst you are other wise engaged in blog land.

***Warning anyone who suffers from OCD or is afflicted with the tidy gene may be offended ***

Friday, 6 November 2009

Flower power

My husband is quite the go getter, not one to rest on his laurels, if he wants something he goes straight after it and he never gives up. His determination and ambition are the qualities i admire most in him and the reason i found him so appealing in the first place. On the other hand I'm the sort of person that tends to go with the flow and i like to procrastinate...A LOT, well they do say opposites attract.

Anyway I'm telling you this because a few months back, i happened to make a flippant comment about how nice it would be to open a florists, something i could direct all my unused creative energy into. Fast forward three months and my husband has just informed me he has secured a lease on a shop that is perfect for my florist idea and we will be opening mid January!!!

"Whooo.. rewind a minute" i say, there's a huge difference in thinking about something and actually making it a reality, yes that difference is my husband, he just acts and thinks later, he may get more done but he has way more headaches in the process.

I know your thinking I'm an ungrateful sod and i should be happy my husband is willing to plough his hard earned cash into a venture purely for me but it's rather perplexing to feel like i have no control in the matter, i feel like stomping my feet and screaming" no you won't tell me what to do." Yet i don't want to cut my nose of to spite my face, it's a fantastic opportunity and a venture I'd love to be at the helm of, i just wish he'd consulted me first.

I should also point out i have NO experience in floristry, i can't tell the difference between a Hyacinth and a hydrangea, and to say I'm not business minded is an understatement. But that's OK because he's "going to hire a qualified florist to show me the ropes and work along side me." So that's alright then!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The top ten tips of how NOT to host a children's party

This past week i have been run of my feet hosting TWO birthday parties in the space of three days and I've learnt a few tricks of the trade along the way that would have been a little helpful - hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it?

1) When organising your child's party guest list be sure to actually invest in some invitations rather than rely on asking random mums you meet at playgroups to come along and promising them you will get an invite out to them soon - the next thing you know it's half term and you have no definite attendees for your daughters princess party.

2) Assuming MTV and other music Channel's will take care of the music for pass the parcel, musical statues and other planned party games is a BIG no no. You'll inevitably stumble across advert after advert while the children impatiently tear off all the layers and decide to play with the peppa pig train instead.

3) NEVER invest in £28 worth of pink tulle and declare to your whole family (rather smugly) that you will be hand making 12 tutu's
as presents for the birthday girls friends - the novelty wears off mid way through your third tutu and your left with a pile of useless tulle.

4)Always invest in extra prizes to prevent squabbling over who gets the last glow in the dark necklace or pumpkin glasses - lollipops are not a suitable alternative to any four year old and may result in major tantrums if you have the nerve to offer them.

5) Remember to inform your guests that the party is in fact fancy dress - it always helps i think and saves lots of embarrassment.

6) If you decide to include a pamper station for your little princess's to finish off their look complete with make up and nail polish NEVER EVER leave it unattended, you may find several little girls with nail polish on their eyelids and make up all over your cushions and walls.

7) Overlooking a "from and until" time frame on your Halloween party invitations can have serious consequences when at 3am you are still playing hostess to parents and trying to diffuse a fight that's just broke out on your doorstep between Superman and an inebriated Jack in the box.

8)Do not under any circumstances let your husband erect a huge gazebo for the party costing hundreds of pounds and turn a blind eye when he decides he's too tired to dismantle the thing. It will only end up being blown away by a huge gust of wind on top of your neighbours new conservatory roof - they will not be best pleased!

9) Be sure to place all your child's lovely presents out of reach from little hands - before you know it she, along with the help from several little pals, has opened all her gifts and you can't write thank you cards because you have not got a clue who sent what.

10) Never let your conscience get the better of you and against all your better judgment invite the child from hell down the road he will only wreak havoc causing the little girls to cry and head but the other little boys, whilst his mummy hides behind a goblet of vino trying to blot him out.

Wordless Wednesday -Halloween fest!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

The Twins turn Two today!

Two years ago today i was in a world of pain giving birth (naturally...please don't judge ;) to my two youngest little girls.

Today, as difficult as they can sometimes be, i couldn't imagine ever not having them in my life. Happy Birthday Eva and Isabella, I'm a very lucky mummy to have such spirited and loving little girls. Have a special day with big cuddles and kisses from your doting older sisters,mummy and daddy x x x x

Monday, 2 November 2009

Back from my blog break

So how is everyone?? What have i missed??? Probably loads I'm guessing. Hope everyone in blog land is doing fine I'm sorry for my sudden departure but i had no choice in the matter, my laptop just packed up on me. Well that's not technically true as i did play a small part in my hiatus due to the fact it was me who spilt a whole cup of tea over the blooming thing...duh!

It's been one thing after another with the half term getting off to a horrendous start, the girls all caught a tummy bug in quick succession of one another, lasting several days and causing a mountain of bile covered washing. If that wasn't enough to contend with I've been busy hosting two birthday parties in the space of three days, one a Pink princess themed affair and the other a spooky Halloween fest. Unfortunately there is no rest for the wicked as i still have birthday cakes, presents and bonfire night to contend with...being a mum is exhausting at the best of times but early November just kills me!

Today is my beautiful daughter Sofia's fourth birthday, happy birthday princess....

It is also the one year anniversary of my mother-in-laws death. It's been hard but we've just kept ourselves busy and tried to focus on the positives and with the twins turning two tomorrow (yes that's right three birthday's in two days) luckily we haven't had time to dwell on things.

I just want to say Hi to my new followers, if you leave a comment I'll be able to pop over to you and return the favour, and to everyone who has recently left a comment thank you I'm planning on catching up with you all once birthday week is finally over.