Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Why I won't be rushing to do another Marathon!

Just over two weeks ago I managed to complete the SHINE Manchester midnight marathon walk. It may have taken a little longer than expected ( almost nine hours) but I bloody did it!  NEVER, EVER, AGAIN though! Phew! Walking 26.2 miles amongst the drunken streets of Manchester City centre, when you should be snuggled up in bed pulling the Zzz in, is no easy feat.  I've been left with puddings for feet, two black toe nails that are hanging on by a thread and a killer kidney infection that has floored me for nearly two whole weeks!

We set off at 9pm from Manchester Uniteds old Trafford ground amid an electric atmosphere and we nailed the first ten miles, but I hit a wall at mile sixteen, I didn't think I could get passed it, yet surprisingly I pushed through and by mile twenty I was feeling as fresh as a daisy.  Then disaster struck, at mile twenty one my ginormous blister on my right heel popped and I feared it was all over.  I managed to hobble for the remaining 5.2 miles in sheer pain and was elated when I crossed the finish line, but I have to say I didn't feel any huge sense of accomplishment like I'd envisioned, just exhaustion and anti climax.  Yes we raised a commendable amount of money for Cancer research, a cause close to my heart, but I could have raised the same amount of money doing something decidedly more enjoyable and dare I say it easier.

Next time I think I'll arrange a sponsored silence or maybe a singathon, I'll leave the marathons and physical exhaustion to the professionals, and conserve my energy. How people actually run that many miles in just under half the time that I managed to walk, and enjoy it, it is beyond me....you deserve more than a medal people, but rather you than me!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

An evening with Jacqueline Wilson

Sorry this post is about a week late but it's the last few days of the summer holidays and my brain is officially fried; roll on Monday because school can't come quick enough, even if that does mean back to work for me!

So last Wednesday I took Mia, along with my friend and her daughter, to meet her favourite author and idol children's writer Jacqueline Wilson.  The evening was held at Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, which has to be one of the most beautiful buildings I've ever had the pleasure of visiting, it's simply stunning.

We made the most of our grown up evening out by dining in a lovely Italian Restaurant on Bold Street before making our way to the cathedral.  The girls had a wonderful time and during the brief Q&A session at the end of the event, Mia was lucky enough to get picked to personally ask Jacqueline a question of her choice.  Mia asked her "If you could choose your own birthday present what would it be?" I was so proud of her, especially when Jacqueline Wilson said what a brilliant and different question that was ( everyone else had asked the same questions "who is your favourite character?" and "which of your books is your favourite?")

Mia was thrilled to learn that Jacqueline would wish to visit Liverpool's Walkers Art gallery (Mia's favourite place) to  look at the pre-raphaelite collection and then purchase a poster of her favourite from the gift shop as her birthday present.

Here are the girls enjoying their very own signed copy of "Four children and It".

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

We Won!

Can you believe it, we won £500 in the #ColourMeInRK Kellogg's competition over at BritMums.

I couldn't believe my luck when I stumbled upon the email to congratulate me on my win! The kids were happy enough with their marvellous colouring pens and massive box of rice krispies so the fact we actually won was unbelievable. 

Back when we first entered I made a promise to each of my girls that if we were lucky enough to win the cash prize we would split it five ways, never thinking in a million years we actually would win, so you can imagine how excited they were to learn they were all £100 richer.
 I've spent my £500 win five times over in my head already, I was hoping to kit the girls out in a whole new wardrobe from Zara and River Island.......

How Cute are these Zara trousers and only £12.99

Pretty floral dress £25.99

Zara Fabulous Trench coat for Mia £29.99
and it comes in beige too for Fi!

 RI Ballerina dress £18 - Gorgeous paired with the denim jacket below!

My favourite RI dress of all £18

On trend RI denim jacket £18

And how cute is this RI party dress for the twins only £12 -
but they have other ideas...... Bey Blades!

Mia wants to spend her money on the latest boy craze, and I must admit I'm glad its not another Barbie doll, this house has seen enough glittering pink fluffy dolls to last it a lifetime.

The other girls are keen to head down to the toy store and blow their winnings too,  so I think their dream wardrobe will have to wait for a while.

The good news is I'm still left with £100 to spend on myself!  I've already coveted a matching Trench coat...

Only £29.99 from H&M!! That leaves me with some cash left over to sort my horrendous hair out!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Olympic Party!

Well week two of the summer holidays is nearly done and dusted and what better way to celebrate than with an Olympic Party.  I decided to host a mini party with only seven attendees as my stress levels are through the roof already;I've upped my daily wine intake to two bottles and I just hope that with each progressing week I wont need to add to my self medication dosage. Imagine, by week six I could be needing six whole bottles a day!

After plying the kids with excessive amounts of sugary treats we started things off with some track and field events. We assigned each child to a specific country, trying to explain that not everyone could be on team GB proved rather trying but we got there in the end. However as hard as we tried we couldn't get any takers for Kazakhstan. The girls didn't quite master the art of Javelin, I suppose the gale force winds didn't help, they didn't fare much better with discus (AKA Frisbee) either.

Any half decent Olympic Party just wouldn't be worth its salt if it did not include the obligatory egg and spoon race.

This was by far the most popular track event...hmm wonder why?

Of course there was inevitably a few eggy casualties .........

Next up was some face painting and tattoos followed by some  party food to keep our mini Olympians fuelled up.

I was majorly impressed with my face painting skills for a first attempt


To finish things off we held some indoor party games.

Dancing competition

Olympic corners

Olympic musical bumps

and the finale....

Belly burst ( using a balloon and separating the kids into pairs, the first team to burst their balloon using only their belly's and NO hands wins)

The girls loved their Olympic party and by far the best event was Belly burst

The Belly Burst Gold Medallists

We finished the party by presenting all our participants with their very own gold medal!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Last minute Jolly Holidays

Phew! It has been a rather busy first week to the summer holidays in the Bold house.  We spent days out at the beach in Southport, train rides to Liverpool, visits to museums, picnics, birthday parties and sleepovers at Nanny's house.  So when I came home on Thursday evening after a two hour seven mile walk (I'm training for a 26 mile charity walk) the last thing I needed was to be told we were off to Centre Parcs and I had less than twelve hours to get some shut eye and pack for SIX  yes SIX people!

needless to say I was less than impressed but with four, hyper, excited little girls to peel off the ceiling and get to bed not to mention all that packing and organising, I had to grin and bare it.  Mr Bold is rather prone to impromptu spontaneity so I shouldn't have been so surprised and as we haven't been on a proper holiday in nearly three years I wanted to make the most of our last minute weekend trip to Center Parcs.


We set off for Whinfell Forrest on Friday enjoying the beautiful views along the way and as we were sharing with friends, to split the cost, we opted for a more plush woodland lodge which was amazing, we even had our very own infrared physiotherm room. The girls had a ball In the adventure play parks and couldn't get enough of the zip wire, I even had a go too.  But by far the best time spent was in the oasis swimming pools......

We had a fantastic weekend. The girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves, Mr Bold chilled with a few beers and I was treated to a trip to the spa as well. We loved spending quality time together and it really has made all the difference.  We can't wait for our next trip to Center Parcs and are already looking to book again for more family fun!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Cheap crafts - Pretend Pizza

Struggling to keep the kids entertained in the rain? Why not get creative and play pizza parlour, making your very own cardboard pizza.  The girls loved this craft but be warned it can get a little messy, luckily for me I'm not  a clean freak.

We had a few large cardboard boxes discarded around the house that I had been saving for a rainy day and we just raided the cupboards and craft box for anything we could use that resembled toppings. Pink straws were snipped to become ham strips, black paper cut in circles for olives, orange tissue paper stripped for grated cheese, yellow string for more cheese, red and green shiny paper used as peppers and red felt for peperoni!

The girls enjoyed being inventive and getting messy and then spent the rest of the day playing cafe with their creations  - success! Now what to do for the remainder of the summer holidays that is just as budget friendly?

Monday, 30 July 2012

Snap,crackle and pop!

Thanks to the lovely Susanna and Co over at Brit Mums my girls were sent a large box of Rice Krispies and a fabulous colouring case packed full with all sorts of magic markers, glitter glues, pens and pencils to decorate and personalise their very own breakfast box.  As you can imagine they were all super excited to get creative and once I mentioned the possibility of winning five hundred pounds money mad Mia got all competitive too!!

Here is Sofia with the goodies........

And after a very artistic, fun and surprisingly quite afternoon here is Eva with the finished product.....

I know I'm biased but I think they've all done an amazing job!

All four girls love their new colouring case, especially the magic markers, and with over 58 different pens for them to choose from I'm sure it will buy me many more hours of peace and quiet over the summer holidays.....well a mum can hope right?

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The best kept hair secret EVER!

I have never been blessed in the hair department; from as far back as I can remember I have have been cursed with limp, lifeless, lacklustre fine hair.  My friends at school called me "three strands" (Biatches)  because i had such fine hair you could see my scalp!  Admittedly my compulsion to pull my own hair out hasn't helped and until a few years ago I had a permanent bald patch on my crown....I have issues sure...but that's stating the obvious.

Don't worry this is not my hair, although it did look rather similar at the time.

Anyway back to my poker straight lifeless locks. Yes people my hair, along with my Louis vuitton sized eye bags, have been the bane of my life.  It has never held a curl in.its.life. fact.  My school leaving do  - curls died, friends daughters christening - frizz bomb, my wedding - complete and utter disaster, so much so I cannot bare to look at a single wedding picture and If Mr Bold would let me I'd have burned the bloody photo album by now.

Sure it's not been all bad.  Back in the 90's straight was IN people and whilst I may have not had volume i have never needed a pair of straighteners in my life.  But then came the Noughties and with them the Kardashians and Holly willoughby; their gorgeous, glossy, bouncy locks have been just too much for my poor hair  to bare and so my weeping locks have been bitterly residing in the humble ponytail for far too long ....until now that is!

who new pinterest could change your life?

I was Busy pinning away one night, as you do, when I spotted a pin claiming to curl ANY hair type with only the humble hair band?  I had to check it out and low and behold it looked actually doable.( I am sooo low maintenance I don't even own nail polish remover, If I can do It ANYONE can).

here is the video the pin linked to......

So i gave it a whirl, nothing ventured nothing gained right? It took literally five minutes to loop my hair through the hairband and so I went to bed and hoped for the best. I woke in the morning and here are the results....................

* Please excuse the embarrassing posing, I apologise in advance for being a complete tit*

And the curls lasted ALL day I was amazed!

So what are you waiting for go try this out for yourself I'm telling you its the best kept secret Ever!

Monday, 23 April 2012

What are you reading tonight?

One of the 25 selected world book night reads

Books are my first love. I love everything about them, how they smell, how they feel and most importantly how they make me feel. I remember the magic they conjured up in me as a child and how I eagerly soaked up every last word.  I'd sit  mesmerised on the cold parquet flooring of the old school hall, with a numb bum, tingling legs  and  let myself be taken away to mythical lands  - I never wanted to return. Enid Blyton's Far Away tree, My naughty little sister and Matilda were amongst my favourites and it has been so wonderful to see my children's eyes alight with that same love and wonderment of books. They love to read, they love me to read to them and the twins spend hours reading to their teddy's and dolls. Last night they were busy playing library; Sofia had lined all her books up on her windowsill and took great delight in bossing her sisters around and playing librarian.

My favourite place in the world has got to be the library, any library and Waterstones comes a close second. In fact my birthday treat this year is to spend the whole day sat in waterstones drinking tea, eating muffins and reading everything and anything ALL.DAY.LONG! Even as a 17 year old I could think of nothing more enjoyable than spending a couple of hours in a bookstore, case in point being the day me and several friends ventured on our first ever girlie holiday to shagamuff Magaluf.  The girls were busy downing shots of Sambuca, bottles of Bacardi Breezer and causing a storm in the airport bar whilst I was busy picking my poolside reads in WHS.  They started to worry after I'd been awol for over two hours and only found me after announcing  my name on the the tannoy system.

So what are your all time favourite books? If you could recommend just one book what would it be? My favourite books would have to be Charles Dickens "great expectations," Austen's "Sense and sensibility," and Arthur Golding's "Memoirs of a Geisha."

The Book I'd recommend to you?.......

                                       The Life You Longed For by Maribeth Fischer

This book focuses on a mother Grace coping with her young son Jacks rare incurable illness and its effects on her family. She is eventually accused of an illness of her own, Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, and the book cleverly compares the unjust accusations made against Grace with the historical Salem witch trials. A tale about grief, forgiveness and the choices we make, this haunting book stayed with me long after I finished reading.

Here are the books i'm reading at the moment:

(I thought I'd carry on with the windowsil theme hehe)

I've already finished Philip Pullmans "The good man Jesus and the scoundrel Christ" which I was pleasantly surprised with.  Pullman is not the type of author I usually read and although the book is controversial I thought it was very cleverly done and well worth a read.  I'm just over half way through "TheTigers Wife" and It's just beautiful, so well written, I'm enjoying this book the most so far.  Which leads me onto the much publicised "Fifty shades of grey", I just had to buy it after hearing everyone from fellow bloggers to Oprah gush about the British housewife who has penned the new "twilight". So far, so blahhh.  I'm not getting into it at all; It's just too OBVIOUS for my liking and very much hype over content in my opinion. She repeats the phrase "He cocks his head to one side" about 20 billion times leaving Christian Grey sounding more like a greyhound than a billionaire masochistic sex god and the dialogue is extremely cringe worthy at times but maybe I'm just a prude? But I've started It now so I'll have to finish It.

As It's world book night, I will be taking part by reading one of the selected 25 books "The Road." It wouldn't have been my first choice, but it was chosen for me by the schools English department (we are hosting a world book night event for the pupils) and I'm assured this Dystopian bestseller will knock my socks off.

                                                          The Road - Cormac McCarthy

About the book:
A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. They have nothing but a pistol to defend themselves against the men who stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food – and each other.

Cormac McCarthy is the author of ten acclaimed novels, most recently The Road. Among his honours are the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for lifetime achievement in American literature

So what will you be reading tonight?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Inspirational and humbling..

It's hard to see the woods for the trees sometimes isn't it? I spend most days on auto pilot rushing from one appointment to the next. I struggle to wake up in the morning as the monotony of the day ahead looms over me - getting myself and the four girls up, fed, dressed, washed and out of the door on time. There's packed lunches to be made, swimming kits to find, toys and clutter to tidy away, dishes to wash, mounds of laundry to do, meals to make....the list is endless.

But occasionally, during our regular, dreary existence we are lucky enough to come across something moving and Inspiring, something that puts our insignificant silly little struggles into perspective. Today was one of those days. During a year 8 weekly RE lesson the teacher introduced us all to the immensely motivational and inspiring man Nick Vujicic.We watched this video No legs, No arms, No worries.......

It was pleasing to see that even the most hardened and poorly behaved pupils had a morsel of compassion, the whole class sat in silence and many were even reduced to tears. I struggled to keep down the lump that had formed in my throat, it was the best four minutes I've spent in a long time and left me determined to stay focused on all the amazing positives I have in my life rather than dwelling on the negatives.

Its hard to be thankful for the wonderful things we do have in our lives when we are constantly worrying about where the next pay check is going to come from to cover that astronomical electricity bill or how we are going to feed our families when food prices are continuing to sky rocket daily but I have to remind myself I've got arms, I've got legs, I've got no worries!

Monday, 16 April 2012

How do you solve a problem like Mia

My eldest is putting us through quite an ordeal of late, constant back chat, lack of respect, lack of enthusiasm for anything we do as a family, constantly bullying her younger sisters and just general torridness.
I fear i have created a monster, she's only seven for gods sake and is behaving like a sullen teenager, Sharpey has nothing on her.

Discipline, discipline, discipline i hear my dad's annoying voice reverberating through my head( I hate it when he's right) as i have flashbacks to my misspent youth, yes OK so I was quite the little madame back in the day, but its certainly come back to bite me on the arse - karma's such a bitch. Surely i wasn't that bad?

"you were worse" my mother cackles, she takes great pleasure in regaling me with tales of how i was nothing short of evil towards my younger sister and how I was the only eight year old on the planet who could sulk all the way around Disney world and complain Florida was boring.

Mr Bold reckons it's my lax approach that is causing the problems and not his inability to say NO to his darling first born ever, apparently i have no follow through.

"you need to have strict boundaries, take away all privileges" he booms "bloody hell Laura they do it with hardened criminals in jails for god sake and it works, so i'm telling you it will work here". sure he's right but what about when she  flutters her eyes at him and the crocodile tears start rolling? he'll fold like a cheap suit that's what and we'll be back to square one.

I seem to have gone off on a tangent but as i was saying I'm having trouble keeping my seven year old in check and I'm not sure if it's down to a lack of discipline and boundaries or bad genes?

I try and stay clam and talk her through my point of view but i eventually blow my top as the girl just doesn't know when to quit, then i feel awful for losing my temper and apologise until ten minutes later when she has another tantrum and the vicious cycle start all over again - it's exhausting.

So i have vowed to stick to Mr Bolds strict boundaries technique and I'm taking no more of her shit but i fear history is repeating itself and if she's anything like i was as a teenager we are in for a bumpy ride. They say there is safety in numbers so I'm going to join forces with Mr Bold and hopefully we can present a united front.......it's times like these i wish we'd settled on just having a dog.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Flabulous and proud!

"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work on becoming yourself" - Anna Quindlen

Today is a monumental day, today is the day I finally embrace my body, the whole curvy mass of it; lumps, bumps, stretch marks and all its glory.  I stumbled upon this amazing blog  and had an Epiphany, I mean what right have I to HATE my body anyway?  My body is beautiful in its own way and has produced my four fabulous, perfect daughters for pity's sake. Why do I feel the daily need to put myself and my body down?

I'll tell you why, because I, like millions of others, have been conditioned by society to meet some warped idea of a "standard" size!  We'll I'm not standard, I'm special and a unique human being, as we all are and  I'm tired of being judged solely on my looks and angry for allowing myself to feel ashamed of my body for as long as I can remember.

So I will endeavour to embrace my whole being and stop the cycle of putting my life on hold; I do not have to wait to plan a girlie night out until i weigh 165 pounds again, i do not have to worry about whether people think I'm too fat to wear skinny jeans because their opinions are THEIR opinions not mine, they do not define me. Let the size revolution begin......

Monday, 27 February 2012

the tap twins

Tonight I'm taking the twins for their second ballet and tap dance class and i can't wait to see their little uncoordinated legs flapping about again.  They were simply adorable and absolutely loved it, although they've insisted they have "tappy shoes" tonight.  Unfortunately i have just made a trip to the local dance store to find the shutters down and no sign that they'll be open for business any time soon!  Just my luck, I've drove past the place for the last two months and its always bloody open but as soon as i actually need something they shut down, i think a higher power might be trying to tell me something.  I did take the older girls to the same dance class a while back but they got board and gave up, not before fleecing me for a whole wardrobe full of dancing paraphernalia which has yet to see the light of day i might add.

If I'm honest  though i man handled the big girls into going in the first place, under some misguided belief that if my children were not applying themselves to at least three disciplines a week they were destined for failure and would end up on the scrap heap by the time they are sixteen.  Really i don't know why we put ourselves and our children under so much pressure is it to keep up with the Joneses? to relive our misspent youth? 

I suppose I'm just trying to give them the best childhood i possibly can and I'm scared I'm failing miserably.  They can't play an instrument (I've still not got around to tuning the piano i bought three years ago), they aren't fluent in Mandarin and they don't attend the best private school money can buy.  My eldest suffers from the same lazyitus i did at her age and manages to quit on everything she ever starts and i worry time is running out before they reach their teenage years and rebel completely.  The twins are my last chance to get it right and to instill some discipline, to show them that you only get out what you put in. So as long as they contine to tap away with a smile on their face i'll insist they keep going and when they start to complain they're "boared" I've always got the months worth of chocolate biscuits stashed in the car to bribe them with. Me pushy? How very dare you..........

Friday, 27 January 2012

pinterest addiction is serious....

How funny is this? I know i've been non existent in blogland for a while now but I just had to share this, I cried with laughter when i saw it! I found it whilst trawling pinterest (my new addiction). I waste almost every night of my life on that site at the moment, its a never ending fountain of wierd and wonderful stuff and a great distraction from my scriptwriting.