Blogizing: Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s day in the UK this year is 30th March 2014, “oh no…..” I hear you say, “I forgot!”

Do not despair, we have searched the net for a couple of ideas to make life easier for you ūüėČ


No excuse. ¬†You can make something. ¬†How about some nice biscuits or a cake? ¬†Cut some flowers and tie them with a nice ribbon. ¬†Find a large stone and decorate it in coloured paint and write on a personal message. ¬†It may seem rather¬†juvenile¬†but as a mother I know that it comes down to the thought, not the cost of the present. ¬†Mother’s day is all about making your mum feel special and letting her know how much you love and appreciate her for everything she does for you.


Make yourself a paper flower from an unwanted/unused/your mums favourite book (not her book, i repeat do not use her copy….she may be very upset, get your own copy)


Make a little matchbox present, put¬†miniature¬†things that your mum loves. ¬†you can design and print off your own label. Here’s something to inspire you….look how cute! And at ¬£4.99 you cannot complain….even if you decide to buy. ¬†It is available from Not on the High Street (.com) as is all the gifts which follow (just because we love this store!)




What about one of these personalised wooden spoons for just ¬£5.50 it’s not going to break the bank….. or you can opt for a whole family of spoons ūüėČ


How about one of these classic looking book covers for an ipad, for just under ¬£35 we think it is a great present and something most mums are sure to love…..if they have an ipad that is!


Another cute little box of fun we found on Not on the High Street:


The little charms all have a meaning. ¬†Such as ‘I may not always be good but you ll always be my fan…” ūüôā ¬†At under ¬£13 this is a little keepsake which is at a price acheiveable for most.

For those who have a little bit more money to spend and what something personal and unique how about one of these locket necklaces. ¬†We think these are just adoreable… ¬£64


¬†Good luck on your search of the perfect gift for your mother. ¬†Do not forget if all else fails, a lovely bottle of champagne and flowers from your local florist will always go down well ūüôā

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Talking Pants: NSPCC Campaign to help educate younger children about inappropriate sexual behaviour by adults

NSPCC Campaign puts abuser  in jail.  A mother spoke to her 3 year old daughter about the pants rule, to which her three year old daughter disclosed to her that a family friend had touched her inappropriately. This just shows that education is key.  You can educate younger children as well as the older ones, and when done in the right way it shows that it can be very successful.  It is likely this campaign has saved this little girl from a long period of abuse.  Read the full article by clicking on the link above.

It is good to talk - parents urged to talk about the underwear rule with their children

It is good to talk – parents urged to talk about the underwear rule with their children

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Solving Storage Problems for Children: I’m Hooked!

I had a problem. ¬†Every day when I collect the children from school and take them home, as soon as we walk through the door the same thing happens. ¬†They take their shoes off in the hallway and place them on the shoe rack (good work kids) then on the way from the hallway to the lounge area they take their coats off (whilst still walking) and drop it on the floor at the point wherever the coat is off their arms. ¬†(Aarrrgghhh!!!) This is not so great! ¬†This same action every day grates on me. ¬†One day feeling rather stressed out I said “Why every day do you do this?” My youngest daughter who was 5 at the time, looked at me with a blank look on her face and simply shrugged her shoulders. ¬†She did not even get what I was talking about, it was a look of ‘who cares? What’s the big deal mum.’ My eldest daughter, aged 7, looked at me and said rather nonchalant “Because there is nowhere to put it.”

I had always asked them to take their coats upstairs to their bedroom, but when I actually thought about it, when returning from school the first thing they want is a drink and a snack.  As the kitchen is not on the way to their bedroom the likelihood of the coat arriving there before they arrive in the kitchen is zero.

I had to think of a resolution. ¬†Obvious…right? I suddenly had a ‘tahdah’ moment – COAT HOOKS

Oh……coat hooks. ¬†Simple resolution, right? No……

Because if you are anything like me, you wont be happy with the ordinary coat hooks that you can get in your local hardware store….


This particular example is £210, yeah it is solid wood (which is always a bonus with me) but where is the design, it is not attractive and the hooks are not always going to be covered by coats.  My thoughts were I would like something which is different, and attractive and could be made into a feature.  I also wanted something which my children would actually use, something they find to be a novelty.

After some searching I found the perfect solution. ¬†A fabulous six coat hook rack which look like a set of pencils. ¬†It looks like a great feature and you can even put in photographs of your children so they know who’s hook is who’s – so no more arguing! Win-win situation.


The rack costs just £119.00 (but if you are quick can get it on sale at a discounted price of £89.00) and can be purchased from But be quick as there is only one left in stock!

For those of you who would love something a little more shabby chic by style, there is a great alternative also available from Fields of Blue, at an exceptional value price of ¬£19.95, and it still offers you the option of inserting photographs so as to avoid the arguments over who’s peg is who’s. ¬†Alternatively, you could insert some of your favourite pictures of small paintings done by yourselves or your children. ¬†Be creative ūüėČ


Since getting the hooks, the problem is solved, my children not only now put their shoes on the shoe rack, but they also remember to hang up their coats.  No more stressed mum upon return from school, and additionally, we always know where coats are in the morning on the way out of the door!

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Keep smiling even when everything is shit: Amongst the grey clouds are always rays of sunshine

Why do I always feel like I am at a crossroads? Why is my life constantly like a rollercoaster? All I want is an ‘easy’ life, a life where things can be constant and permanent just for a little while. ¬†Just long enough for me to feel comfortable. ¬†As soon as I start to feel like things are getting better something else goes wrong. ¬†Is everyone else’s life like this or is it just mine?

I am not just feeling sorry for myself, I am not talking about minor things such as missing the bus or forgetting to put the bin out so I felt in a terrible mood for the rest of the day.  I mean, real terrible things happen.  I am beginning to think I am jinxed.

In the last two years here is a list of what has happened (though please be advised it is not limited to said list, as I also have the usual things like having to stop at every set of traffic lights, getting stuck behind a tractor when I am already late for work, forgetting my packed lunch in the fridge, noticing I am low on petrol and then realising I have also forgotten my purse at work etc so bear this in mind) ¬†Anyhow…….list…here we go:

  • Not one but two of my aunt’s are seriously ill. ¬†One collapsed with a serious throat action and is now permanently brain damaged, though has some independence at least. ¬†My other aunt had a serious fall and is lucky to be alive, but has had numerous brain surgery and it is feared she will never have independence again. This second accident happened on my birthday. ¬†Happy birthday me!!! (They will now never be the same) ¬†This year I found my birthday extremely emotional, as I spent the morning at the¬†cemetery¬†talking to my grandma, and the rest of it thinking, it has been one year since my auntie’s accident and she is no better)
  • I have had two car accidents, both not my fault. Luckily no one was hurt, apart from my car. ¬†It is the sheer inconvenience of it all….
  • My son was run over, and as a result broke both femurs, he is lucky to be alive, I am lucky he is still alive. ¬†Quite possibly the most stressful thing which has happened in my life (and his). ¬†This meant three months of intensive care getting him back on his feet. ¬†He is on his way to recovery, albeit it has been a slow road.
  • My grandma died. ¬†She was a very special person in my life. ¬†I could go visit her, sit there all day and speak to her about anything. ¬†I did not realise it at the time, but she was actually one of my favourite people. ¬†She never annoyed me or upset me. ¬†She was a great help with my children, she looked after me as a child, she was a constant permanent fixture, pretty much the only one, and now she has gone.
  • Related to above in incident of my grandma’s passing. ¬†Quite possibly the second most upsetting day of my life (aside from my son being run over) was having to attend my grandma’s funeral. ¬†In saying ‘having to attend’ I do not mean this as though I was forced, I would not have missed it for the world. ¬†However it was extremely difficult saying good bye to someone I hoped would be there forever. ¬† Love you grandma x
  • My children’s father appears to have taken up a sudden interest in¬†pedophiles,¬† decides to post things about this subject on facebook and as a result put me in a situation where I have had to stop contact for the time being, until I am sure my children are safe, and in me doing so has made me feel like an absolute mega bitch. Then there is the added stress of having to deal with this family, who seem to be incapable of understanding why I am upset at his failure to safeguard my children.
  • My finances have seriously taken a turn for the worst. ¬†I have done nothing differently, but with the increase of cost of living and decrease in help for working single parents it has all taken its toll and there is not much further I can go.
  • My health is suffering. ¬†I am suffering from stress headaches, severe hayfever and now having to have treatment in the lady department to stop some naughty cells turning even naughtier.
  • And to top it off, I am still very, very single. Sigh……..

But as luck would have it, good things have happened in the last two years also, so at least rather than you getting a picture of just one steep drop on a very large roller coaster, you can now imagine a big dipper ūüėČ

So yes it is very true, these last two years have been pretty trying, and would have been for any person.  But I am still smiling.  In the last year I have met some brilliant people, I have carved out a great social circle, I have gotten back in touch with some family members, I have reignited my love for art and creativity, I have rediscovered my freedom, my love for nature and walks in the woods, and my love for travel. I have discovered how lucky I am to have such great friends and family and a roof over my head, not to take things for granted and to be thankful for what I have.

“Amongst the dark clouds are always small rays of bright sunshine”i


My Hero, My Role Model: My Grandma!

Whilst writing for the latest WP Challenge, I found this difficult.  Not because I did not know what to write about, for me this was easy.  The topic was Object, and as there is one object which is more important to me than anything else. But because I did not realise it would stir up so emotion.  I was literally sat there typing away, tears welling up in my eyes.  I do not feel sad however, as I see this last post as a tribute to my wonderful grandma and remembering the good times has made me happy.  Thank you for the time we spent together grandma, you were an amazing woman and a true inspiration.  My hero, my role model!


Weekly Writing Challenge: Object – My Grandma’s Reindeer

I walked into the room, heart pounding and mouth dry. ¬†The bright lights hurting my eyes as I walked down the corridor. ¬†I turned right down another long hallway. ¬†Each step becoming harder than the one before. ¬†My legs felt like jelly. ¬†My head was buzzing and I felt dizzy and sick. ¬†Eventually I saw Ward 9, I turned right and pulled open the heavy wooden door. ¬†I squirted on some antibacterial hand gel and rubbed it into my hands whilst walking towards the nurses desk. ¬†I cleared my throat and asked her where she was. ¬†I was directed down towards the end of the ward into the last room. ¬†There she lay in the bed, looking so tiny. ¬†Much smaller than usual. ¬†Her curly grey hair still looking perfect. ¬†She knew someone was there but she did nt know who it was as her eyes were severely affected by cataracts. I walked over to the bed, took her hand and said “Hello Grandma”. ¬†“Hello love” she managed. She knew who I was. ¬†My grandma and I had a close relationship. ¬†I sat next to her and stroked her hair. ¬†I tried to speak to her without letting her know how upset I was. ¬†The nurse came in and I asked her how she had been over night. ¬†“She has been quite stable” she said. ¬†“She looks much better today” I said, trying to be optimistic. ¬†The nurse smiled at me but said nothing, and then carried about her business. ¬†I kissed my grandma on the cheek and said “I will see you later grandma, I will be back later, I promise.” ¬†“OK” she croaked whilst managing a smile and nodding slowly.

I walked out of the ward with the intention of going to the canteen for a cup of coffee.  I was tired.  I had not had much sleep as I had been worried about my grandma.  I reached a chair in one of the corridors and decided to sit down. I began thinking of all the things we had done together.  The holidays we had been on. The time in Ibiza when she sat on a wall with white trousers on and when she stood up they were red, she was covered in ants!

As a child I often stayed with her on a weekend. ¬†I loved going. I loved walking her dog, Snowy, up and down the cobbled back street. The same street my uncle, (only 9 years older than me, he was the youngest of her children), had taught me to ride a bike on an adult full sized BMX when aged only 8 years old. ¬†I could not even touch the floor and had to balance the bike against the wall to climb on! ¬†In school holidays I remember being looked after by my grandma with my siblings and cousins. ¬†My Grandma’s cooking was the best, macaroni cheese and homemade chips was my favourite.

I used to sit on the sofa in her living room and watch TV, all snuggled up with her woolen Scottish tartan blanket. One time I was laid on the floor in front of the hot fire watching my favourite TV program after school, my grandma downstairs cooking tea.  All of a sudden a little white mouse ran across the front of me from behind her glass cabinet which stored all her trinkets and ornaments bought for her over the years by her children and grandchildren. I remember thinking it was cute, but I screamed anyway. I remember grandma telling me not to be scared and to think how scared the poor little mouse was seeing me on the floor, as I was a lot bigger than the mouse! That made me laugh.

Every Christmas day was spent at grandma’s with all my aunts, uncles and cousins. ¬†One year all 11 grandchildren lined up and we sang “Grandma we love you”.

A more recent memory of 5 or 6 years before floated back, when grandma has made me a royal blue and bottle green tartan pinafore dress. ¬†I remember being stood in her front room whilst trying on my new dress. ¬†Her laughing at me when I said I had ‘boobies’ telling me they were like ‘fried eggs’. ¬†I was only 12, and my grandma was a 40DD bra size. ¬†I can see now why she found it so funny.

She was how grandmas are supposed to be.  She made and repaired things, clothes etc, she cooked and she cleaned, she treated us to presents and fed us lots of biscuits and cakes.  My grandma was from Scotland but she was far from the stereotype of being stingy with money,  she was the exact opposite, and in fact the most generous person I knew.

Just then my mobile rang. It was my uncle asking me to go back to the ward as the doctor wanted to speak with me. When I arrived, I was lead into a side room and I sat down on one of the chairs. ¬†My uncle was there, he looked at me and instead of talking he began to cry. ¬†I had never seen my uncle cry before. ¬†It was hard to see, a 6 ft 4 inch stocky man, eyes red from the tears, looking heart broken. ¬†I looked at the floor and said “has she gone?” “No, but she is not well”. Managed my uncle, at that point he broke down again. ¬†“We have tried to give her another blood transfusion but nothing is working for her any more. ¬†I am sorry but it is only a matter of time now.” ¬†I stared at the doctor as the words fell out of his mouth, like lead to the floor. ¬†Each word washing over me, but it did not really sink in. All I could think was ‘that’s it, she is going.’ ¬†I dropped to my knees and I cried, harder than I had ever cried before. Even when my mum and dad divorced, I do not remember crying so hard. heart ached, I felt like my world was falling apart around me. ¬†My grandma was like a second mum to me. ¬†In fact I told my grandma things I could not speak to my mum about. ¬†My grandma had looked after my first child, which I had when I was only 17. ¬†My grandma never judged me, she did nothing but support me. ¬†She took me and my son on trips with her Pensioners Club to the seaside. ¬†My son adored her, he used to help her do the gardening and loved hanging the washing out on the line with her, she made it fun. She even played football with him in the garden, despite her having a double hip replacement only a couple of years previously. ¬†She was one person that my son would do absolutely anything for.

I stopped crying and wiped away the tears. “I want to see her.” I said as I walked out of the side room and into hers. ¬†My grandma was laid in bed asleep. ¬†“Hi grandma” I said. ¬†“Hello dear” she managed quietly. ¬†A tear ran down my cheek. ¬†“Are you ok?” I said. ¬†She nodded and smiled. ¬†I sat next to her, perched on the bed and held her hand. “I love you grandma” I said. ¬†“I love you too.” She replied. ¬†I stroked her hair and kissed her forehead and said “I’ll see you again soon grandma.” She looked in my direction, but I know she would nt have been able to see my face because of her cataracts, but she stared in my direction, smiled at me and said “yes”. ¬†The doctor had n’t said anything to her, but I knew she could tell that this was the last time we were to see each other, in this life time. ¬†I hugged her tight and kissed her again on the cheek and with that I let go of her hand, I turned and began to walk away. ¬†Tears streaming down my face I turned to look at her one last time. She had closed her eyes and looked peaceful with a smile on her face. ¬†I smiled back and whispered “love you grandma, I will see you again.” At that moment I thought in my head ‘Please angels take good care of her, she is so precious.’

I turned and walked down the corridor. ¬†As I reached the door I heard the nurses rushing, I turned around and saw them heading towards the end room. I knew that was it, she was gone. ¬†I walked out of the hospital and sat in my car. I held between my palms the little reindeer broach my grandma had given to me, just before she had gone into hospital. That was 6 years ago. ¬†I still speak to her on a daily basis and keep that reindeer close. ¬†To anyone else that reindeer is nt worth anything else, it is nt made from gold or any other precious metal, but it was my grandmother’s. I had bought it for her one Christmas when I was 11 years old with my pocket money from the local market. ¬†She had kept it all those years, until I was 27. ¬†That meant so much to me. ¬†I will always have a bond with my grandma and even though physically she is not here, I know she is around.

My final tribute to grandma was the song I chose for her funeral. “Grandma we love you” by St Winifred’s Choir. That seemed like the only choice for me.

“One day grandma I will see you again, that day will be when the angels are also looking after me. But until then I will keep close to me the only thing I have left, our little reindeer. And of course, our memories.”


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