Who's The Mummy?

I think today Aaron was mummy; he was in charge!

I found the words: "who's the mummy here?" going round in my head a lot today.

Because we walk everywhere, miles and miles, he is always in the buggy, but on the way back from the cafe (where I had an all day breakfast, thanks to Nickie's earlier tweet):

Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, on the way back from the cafe, Aaron decided to do a Houdini and climb out of the buggy even though it was moving.  This just does not happen! Till now!

It was a long walk to the supermarket and I did not have reigns with me - not that we've used them in months anyway. 

So I had to push the buggy and keep saying "stay away from the road" and "stay with mummy". 

Thank God he understood as we were on a busy road.  At any point he could have made a run for it, but thank God he is on the cusp of being sensible, so he stayed on the house side of the buggy, instead of road side, all the way there.

The foyer of the supermarket has a Bob The Builder coin operated toy and Aaron insisted on climbing in, and as he was not in the buggy I could not stop him.

Then he said "money Mummy".  Oh so I am the mummy after all, maybe?  Unfortunately he rinsed me dry and STILL had a meltdown when I took him out, even though he smiled when I said now THIS is the last turn, okay!!!

Then made a novelty of him pulling a basket on wheels for me, but when it veered the wrong way he took the pack of cheery tomatoes out and threw them across the floor.  A man joked "oh he didn't want them then".

I was so grateful for his sense of humour.  I was glad I did not do a Back to the Future and see me of a few years ago, because I would have had a very disapproving face on me!

He then had a physical meltdown, and I decided to not only put him in the buggy but do ALL 5 of the harness straps, so he was NOT going to climb out again.  As I was doing this he was arching his back and I had to practically fight him to get him in.  A lady with a younger child looked very disapproving and I made myself feel better by thinking this could be you one day...

Anyway, he was very well behaved from that point on and all the way home, and it was like it never happened and now he's watching a DVD after a large glass of apple juice.

So I didn't have to think "who's the Mummy?" for long, thank God, as being made redundant it's the only job I have left... don't want to lose both in one week.

But it's kind of made up my mind that maybe I don't need to get a new stroller after all, as he probably is near enough ready to walk everywhere but I had my heart set on a Maclaren XT but now out of work I just can't justify it.

This is a picture of my breakfast and Aaron's kid's meal.  Yes, I am easily led.  Got showered and dressed and out as soon as I saw Nickie's tweet, even though I was shattered and vegging until that  point, as I was exhausted after a strained week at work.

Aaron's kids meal and Ribena - we don't do Fruit Shoots (ladened in Aspartame!)

My naughty all day breakfast

Saturday is Sat Cap

Mammasaurus is on holiday, so this week is hosted at Mummy Mishaps.  Hit the badge.


Brit Mums Live 2012 - What I learned

What I learned at Brit Mums Live...

Thursday night having bought Bare Minerals makeup after they made me over (in Boots) *smug*

... From the sessions / workshops:

As above, I learned how to do a collage and watermark it (via Blog Stomp) from the "Advanced Blogging: Photography" session with Julia Boggio on Saturday morning.  She is famous for this YOU TUBE video which resulted in her being on Oprah and getting to dance with Patrick Swayze - wouldn't we all just LOVE to do that.  I have wanted to be able to watermark my photos for a very long time and just did not know how - I get a lot of hits due to images so it is particularly important to me.  Top top from me: name your images accurately if you want Google to pick them up.

Her session was the slickest of them all to be fair and we learned a lot about how lighting is the secret of a great photo even if it is taken with a phone - here is my recent living proof of that!

I learned a lot about You Tube from Christine Beardsell at "Advanced Blogging: Video Blogging".  I have already added a few videos to my New Mum Online channel, as I was so inspired.  I thought a couple of them, like Bhangra Baby may take off, but sadly no...  She told us that video results appear in about 70% of the top 100 listings.  Video increases the likelihood of a front page Google search result by 96%.  PLUS videos can add 2 minutes to the length of time that someone stays on your blog :-)

She also said that a BIG THING in the States is to become the host of content, but it hasn't really taken off here.  So instead of being a Travel blogger you could be a blog that points at all the good content so that people know where to look.

She doesn't normally recommend that brands go viral as it is hard to do on purpose, but as we all have kids, she said "kids go viral" so put the camera on them!

A hilarious video blogger in the States is "Cool Mom".

She said we need to "test and learn" as it is often the case that people upload 10 videos before they find the one that takes off.

Discussion Den: Sod the Stats - Blogging for Happiness
In this session the audience spoke a lot and I really got to hear what makes people happy and how their blog makes a difference - it was humbling actually.  
In this session Mammasaurus said it is quite often the posts that you write quickly with "what's going on in your mind" that do really well, with lots of hits and comments.  The ones you over-think and invest a lot of time in don't give you the return.  I, Liska, think, from a purist point of view, it is because the very essence of blogging is writing what is going on in our minds, but as we all read each others blogs we tend to write with the reader in mind which kind of self-censors us.  If I read back to the posts I wrote before I discovered the community, I can really see the real me, as I was just me, poured out in words.  I would really love to come full circle back to that, perhaps to the writing style I had in my original blog, when I was blogging in obscurity. To be fair I did not take many notes in this session as it lived up to its name and it really was a discussion den open to the floor.

I wrote about this session here: Bloggers' Studio - Crossing The Chasm.

With regards to the Pinterest session I did not learn a thing, which is a shame, as if you go to my Pinterest account I only have one pin as I really don't know what I am doing and this session did not change that fact.

The Discussion Den: Secrets & Lies - Bad Behaviour Online, really lived up to my expectations.  It was a pleasure to see A Modern Military Mother on stage, as I had met and talked to her in All Bar One the night before.  Having had a very bad online experience in February it was really appreciated that I got to have a one to one with Lisa, AKA The Mummy Whisperer afterwards - she basically gave me free therapy - beautiful!

The slide in this picture says it all really, along with the fact that Lisa has her hand up as if to say "talk to the hand" but a great quote from the session was:
"When a light shines the shadows appear darker, so shine brighter!"

... From the conference:

From now on I will get back to where I was when I started blogging.

... About myself:

That I love my blogging friends:
  1. Jenny - my buddy for most of the conference.
  2. Lisa - my counsellor and Life Coach at the end of the Discussion Den workshop when I completely broke down.  She has given me some required reading which I must catch up at some point - I'd rather be cool with my kindle than a Bully with a BlackBerry :-)
  3. Mich - is an all round good egg.  Top blogger with a top attitude!
  4. Kate - had a lovely heart to heart at All Bar One which I really appreciated.
  5. Kerry - as above had a lovely heart to heart at All Bar One which I really appreciated.
  6. Laura - my drinking after dark buddy below - during the day she was the biatch of Butlins :-)
Tired Mummy of Two and Me!
I learned that despite spending all that money...
... I should never ever have worn something (on the second day) that didn't fit me properly, and with heels that didn't really suit the outfit (Crocs saved my blister) and that would have gone better with boots anyhow, like it did on Sunday when I tried again:

Top tip - be comfortable!  If you are not used to heels, this isn't the time to suddenly wear them for a whole day!

I learned that I like men who look like this:
 (despite a lot of bloggers taking the moral highground on this)

My union jack legs - dressed for £9.50 from your very own Marks & Sparks!

I learned that despite never wearing heels or dresses, I can dare to get my legs out, even making a statement with union jack tights - yes THAT was me!

I was over the moon to catch up with:
Mummy's Little Monkey - thanks for the down to earth chat - was lovely talking to someone so like-minded.
I made some new friends:

I learned alot about the brands but I think I will save that for another post (I'm tired).
I learned that ... the mummy blogging community rocks!

I learned that I missed Brit Mums, so despite so publicly leaving I have become an active member again and I am happy about it.

Bye for now, Liska x

Funny or Tragic?

Last night Aaron and his Daddy were doing something that was winding me up and stressing me out and I can't even remember what it was.

But I said: "you two are going to put me in an early grave one of these days".

(I said it for 2 reasons: one, because having a husband and a son is like having 2 sons - at least in my house and two, because that sort of talk went hand-in-hand with my post natal depression and it is a hard habit to break to stop saying things like that).

Anyhow I went on to say: "and I might like it there"....

Hubby mumbled words to the effect of that is what he is waiting for - can't remember his choice of words.

When he then said something about him going I said: "well you could have done on the M25 but you didn't make a good job of it did you?" (anyone who follows me on Twitter will know his car got towed away after that accident, and I was so mad at him for leaving the car seat in there - when I told him 6 days later to get it from the car pound, he went there to find it was no longer in the car.  Someone clearly thought it was ripe for the pickings).  He then had to buy a new one and I was livid, especially as I am in the process of being made redundant.  He got a cab home from the accident so my view was that he should have saved it. 

Anyway then I said: "I freely accept that one day I will wake up, knocking on the inside of the boot of your car".

To which he said: "I aint doing time for you!"

As he has said the exact same thing in the past - a few recent weeks ago.... I said: "Shouldn't the answer be: Darling I would never do that to you!"...

To which he stressed that he meant what he says....

I can't remember what the funny bit was now, but the reason I am sharing this (unlike me) is because I was talking to the girls in the neighbouring office today and the lady I was talking to thought it was hilarious so I thought I would share....

The conversation came about as she was talking about the story line in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" - apparently there is a kidnapping plot in there, and my washing machine brain lead me to share my silly conversation with my husband.

Our conversation actually started with me telling them that Fifty Shades of Grey has now sold more than 1 million copies on Kindle - the 1st book to do that.

I read the Trilogy a few weeks ago and read all three in a week....

But as I am so tired right now after a 13 hour shift I can't remember if I have included every bit that we said to each other - doh!

I'll ask my neighbour tomorrow and hopefully she can remember better than me.  If it was funny she will do!

Table Table - Desserts - ULTIMATE SHARING SUNDAE

So Sunday we went to a Table Table restaurant and ordered this:

Bhangra Baby


Last Summer we went to Derby for the weekend, for our friend's 40th Birthday celebrations.

One of her gifts was a bhangra dancing class.  Well hubby wasn't onhand to take Aaron (can't remember where he was) and I wasn't one to miss this (given that bhangra is often practiced for fun at Kundalini Yoga events and I was a KY teacher for 6 years).

So even though this was nearly a year ago, I decide to share (1) because I am passionate about all things baby wearing and (2) we talked a lot about video blogging at Brit Mums Live.

The wrap I wear here is a Moby Wrap.


Forgive my dancing style, but I didn't entirely lose my inhibitions as I was monitoring every move to allow for the weight of Aaron, and how it would effect him.



Orlando at Brit Mums Live 2012

Anyone else LOVE the photo booth at Brit Mums Live 2012?

You know the one where you got transported to Orlando, and then clicked your Dorothy heels and all of a sudden you were back in the room.

This is me and Jenny's trip to Orlando - I just LOVE Disney.

I am also very excited to see that Jenny now has the URL for Treading on Lego - coolest blog name around! Well done Jen!

I have about 9 packets of Disney photos when we went to the one in Tokyo in 2004 (yes there is one there) but sadly although I got my digital camera on that Japan trip, the photos were taken before, so they lie in a packet, where nobody online can see them :-(

Brit Mums: Bloggers Studio - Crossing The Chasm to Bring Your Blog to the Next Level

I know this is my 5th post about Brit Mums Live and I do apologise profusely but it is my blog, my space, my rules ;-)

I would just like to do some posts typing up my notes from some of the talks, so here goes:

Bloggers' Studio: Crossing the Chasm - How to Bring Your Blog to The Next Level

Disclaimer: I am not claiming to have written everything they said, although I have been known to do that in the past as I am a natural minutes note taker, but on this occassion I just wrote what was important or struck a cord with me...

For Northern Mum, she does not get the technical stuff and it is all about content.

Her Melness Speaks says that there needs to be a compelling reason it [your blog] exists.  The reason does not have to be as profound as hers.  Crap content begets a crap blog.  Grammar, content and being really circumspect makes a really good blog.  Spelling interrupts thought because it makes people say "oh dear, I WAS enjoying that".  Make your writing truthful to the author.  Every blog has an implied contract with readers.  Be consistent with your message and your voice.  Superior blogs HELP OTHER BLOGGERS.  HMS gave an example of this in that Nickie from I am Typecast mentioned her on her blog 2.5 years ago and that is why she was with us at Brit Mums Live.

Mel has kindly typed up her notes, as a presenter from Crossing The Chasm and includes them here in this post.

Michelle from Mummy From The Heart says that she has no desire to be a writer.  When reading her blog you are walking with her.  She is a marmite blogger who started in 2008 and is a self-confessed slow-starter.  7 month old twins at the time, so her blog sat on the cyber shelf for a year.  Wasn't open to public viewing and only gave URL to a couple of people.  2010 did not use Twitter.  People she commented on came back for a visit and realised that not all Christians wear socks and sandals (I do!!!!).  She has now been successfully running Reasons to be Cheerful for 72 weeks and does lots of initiatives for new bloggers.  She recommends: do what makes you happy and be completely unique!

Nickie from I am Typecast says: every person has their own story to tell.  She had a huge life event that made her go on forums and there was "nothing out there" so she decided to speak out.  There was only medical and corporate info and she wanted people's stories and experiences.  Your message is the reason you write.  It is the soap box you stand on.  Nickie is a self-confessed media whore.    She said we need the snowball effect.  We need to widen our network.

Nickie says: mix it up a little and let it grow.  Don't have to network with just other parent bloggers.

Maggy from Red Ted Art says:
She gets 10-15k hits a day.  She hopes the people reading want to get crafty with their kids.  On the back of her blog she has a book deal coming.

Her recommendations are:
  • Good content and put in effort.
  • Presentation and photographs (she is tempted to delete her earlier ones but believes they are part of her story/history)
  • Progressed a lot in photography
  • Grabs people's attention so that they stay and read
  • Engage with other people.
  • Using Google + well can increase your search results
  • Embrace and go with the flow
  • Pinterest - session on it tomorrow.
  • Nickie says: respond to comments on your blog.
Over to Nickie again:
Her blog is about discussion.  Leaving more comments leads to getting more comments. Make an effort to build your community.   Freedom to write about what I want and tone.  Find new blogs and new things to say/read.

Broaden horizon or start a 2nd blog.  She has started a 2nd blog, and cross-links them both.

This post above is really ramblings on a note pad as I was sometimes listening, not scribbling.

If you want to hear more, Nickie has written about the session on her own blog here.
So has Her Melness as I said above - here is her full presentation below her recap of the event itself.

Bye for now, Liska

The Cost of Brit Mums Live - anyone else go a bit crazy?!?!

On so many levels, I enjoyed Brit Mums Live.

I learned more about blogging, more about the community and importantly: more about me!

It was a journey, both pre, during and post (event).

I don't regret it, I think, but *coughs* I spent a lot....

Organisation and Pre-event Pampering

1st things first was the pre-conference pampering.  11 days before the event I got Shellac done on my toes (£30), hoping it would last and it did.  I got it done in bright red, knowing that I was going to get a pair of crimson MBT Sadikis (£55) to match, and that I did.

In a last minute panick on the way to the event, on the DAY of the event, I stopped at The Beauty Box and I got a file and polish done to (my fingers) to match my toes (£13.50), and a Boots umbrella (£16) which I will be getting refunded as the quality is terrible!  I should have been organised about the toe nails and the umbrella.  I also arrived at the conference minus a notebook, so I am delighted that there were Brewery ones on every table. Oh I also had to go back to Boots after buying the umbrella to get a lipstick £10.50.

I begged the husband to mind Aaron on Monday 18th June (I don't work Mondays) so that I could go and buy the clothes I was to wear, but he had to wait in all day for delivery of our car seat from Mothercare.  Yes, we got one a long time ago, but my husband was in an accident on the M25, and when the car got towed to a pound, someone stole the car seat out of the car, before he next visited the pound (at my request).  Men! I say men! because although he thankfully lived after the accident, he left the scene of the accident minus the car seat and 6 days later had to be prompted by me to go and get it.  Someone obviously decided to give it a new home :-(

So once I realised he wasn't going to take Aaron anywhere I decided to spend the rest of the day (6 hours) at Westfield Stratford, as thanks to my OWN RESEARCH I knew it was baby friendly.

There Monday 18th June (Westfield Stratford) I bought:
  • my red outfit for Friday: red "Next" Olympic games t-shirt £18 and red "Next" linen trousers £20, and the red MBT Sadikis (£55).  Because I was red from head to toe I joked on Twitter that I was coming to the event dressed as an Olympic tomato.  I didn't get in trouble so clearly people realised I was jesting...  The trousers were incredibly comfortable and it was so lovely to be casual (after being in a dress last year).  I am GUTTED that I don't have a photo of my red outfit, but (1) I didn't take many this year and (2) it's a bit hard to say to someone "please take a photo of me"...
  • a HerStyler hair straightener (£90) 
  • Navy dress for Friday night from Primark, which was only £13
  • Marks & Spencer's version of spanks: very very dear as I needed one for Friday and one for Saturday (£35 x 2) - one black and one beige - THAT was why I looked slimmer than normal, as it is called:Ultimate Magic Body Define Waist & Thigh Cincher.
  • Navy dress for Friday night - bought for a bargain £13 at Primark and it was so so so flattering considering my size at present!
  • On Friday, at Westfield Stratford I also bought the £35 cream tunic top at Next, that I wore on Saturday, that I then had to spend the week worrying about what to match with it (and got it wrong according to my TK Maxx Style Makeover).  Eeeek having just seen it just now (to get the link) on the Next website I now know how it is meant to look! Hang beautifully down, and floaty.  NOT hanging on for dear life to my waist hips and thighs - ooooops! Won't be wearing that again until I lose some weight! 
On Thursday 21st June the ends of my hair still looked like rats' tails, and my fringe was at my knees so the only solution was to have my hair cut in my lunch break:
  • Hair cut at Tao Hair and Beauty £37!
As there were still things missing from my outfits despite the above, I had needed to go shopping  on Thursday 21st June after work. Ttsssk! 

I did a one-stop shop at Mark & Spencers and got:
  • Union Jack Nights £9.50 - as I knew they would be a statement with the Primark dress I bought Friday.  Wasn't something I planned but spotted them and had a feeling I could pull it off, despite not having worn a short dress and heels in over 7 years!!!!!
  • I bought a jacket which I may now get a refund on as I have not worn it. £39.50!
  • Snake Print trousers, £27.50 which I stupidly combined with the Next tunic top mentioned above.  I have combined them with other things since (having learned from the TK Maxx consultation and I have now found ways of making them look super!  The beauty of these is that they are 7/8, so they sit at the top of boots beautifully - that is what I should have done Saturday.
  • Flatter Me size G bra to give me the Gok Wan effect! £22.50
  • Stud Dolly Shoes in brown for the Friday night dress mentioned above, to go with the tights!

Then I went to Boots Thursday night (21st June) and ended up spending:

Thanks to the hair cut, and Bare Minerals Makeup (she did a demo on me) I looked like this on Thursday night, so had a lot more confidence to face the event:

So, as you can see I went a little cccccraaaazzzy.  I think it was for a few reasons.  I lost a lot of weight a couple of months before the event but put it on in recent weeks due to my imminent redundancy.  So all of the hold it all underwear became necessary because of that (shame as the £70 held in weight I had previously recently lost).

I also think I was worried about looking the part.

But what I have learned from my Saturday outfit, is that it is good to be comfortable in your own skin and I wasn't.  I have since mixed and matched the outfit and made it look a lot better so will wear outfits more than once before an event in future, so I know (1) if I am comfortable and (2) IF it suits me!!!!!

****I don't even want to add up all of the above**** and I won't!

If I add my £8.50 x 2 for the return tickets each day.  My £40 for a taxi home from All Bar One on Friday night, and my purchases at All Bar One, I don't even want to know what the whole event cost me.

THANK GOD the entrance to the event, (early bird) was only £49!!!!

Bye for now, Liska 

Mums Need... Brit Mums Live

  • We sometimes need a break from the kid(s) and we got one
  • We sometimes need a break from him indoors and we got one
  • We sometimes need an excuse to get dolled up and we got one
  • We sometimes need inspiration and boy did we get it
  • We sometimes need to spend time with like-minded people - and we did
  • We need to be in a crowded room and not feel lonely
  • We need to have a hot drink made for us, that we can drink whilst it is still hot
  • We need to meet the people who read our blogs
  • We need to meet the brands who'd like to work with us
  • We need to get out more
  • We need to have a forum to ask questions
  • We need value for money and boy did the early bird ticket give us that!
  • We need a chance to go for a drink, knowing the kid(s) with Dad
  • We need to meet up with the blogging friends that have become as important to us as our offline friends
  • We need a confidence boost every now and again and boy did I get that from BML
  • We need a cuddle - I got quite a few
  • We need a tasty lunch we didn't have to buy or cook!
  • Ultimately we need a superb conference that ticks all the boxes and that is what we got
I'd absolutely LOVE it if you added something I haven't thought of, as the above was a kind of brainstorm.

Liska xxx

My Style Makeover with TK Maxx at Brit Mums Live

I had the benefit of a style makeover at Brit Mums Live yesterday and you can see here, in my You Tube video, how she modernised my outfit with just a couple of changes.

The history of this outfit is that I spent the day shopping in Westfield Stratford on Monday18th June, especially for Brit Mums Live.

The top I am wearing below, I fell in love with, in Next, even though I KNEW that it is NOT the best neckline for me.

Then when I was shopping Thursday 21st after work, at Marks & Spencers, I went down the road of "matching" the colour pallette which apparently is really 80s! Got that from my Mum.

Hence I bought the trousers which although matching in colours, I thought were funky -
they are, but, just too samey samey in the colours.... anyhow, this is the trousers I am wearing: http://www.marksandspencerextra.com/1823/T570104.html

Anyhow, look at how she transforms me:

The photographs are not easy to look at in the above so I also include them below:

How I was dressed - yes! Quite Mumsie!

TK Maxx quite like to clash, but it was too much for me!

THIS however, I could handle - the years have been taken off!

The culprit for my makeover

The speaker in the video (after my makeover it continues into a "talk" so stay tuned!)

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday