Archive | April 2015

Make up – is less more and how young is too young?

My five year daughter, is a complete girly girl. She loves everything pink, sparkly, glittery, princesses, fluffy, purple, cute; you get the picture.

She already at the tender age of five is very clearly not an outdoorsy/sporty/messy/untidy type. She hates anything outside, hates wildlife and insects, she is even spooked by birds. On the rare occasion when she is outside she will insist on wearing a party dress and party shoes

She has very clear ideas about what she likes when it comes to what she will wear and will not budge from these, unless she absolutely has to. Even when it comes to her school uniform she will NOT wear a summer gingham dress unless it looks “pretty”; she HATES wearing her navy blue pinafore during the winter term.

If this is not even enough, she now has discovered make up! I am not sure when she started watching me when I was putting mine on in the morning, but I remember the first time she asked me “why do you have to wear make up mummy?” – I was driving at the time, so I could not give her my complete attention but I tried. Sitting in the passenger seat was my then 17 year old step-daughter who is a complete mirror looks obsessed teenager, and who does not go out without make up on, EVER! I told my daughter that you don’t HAVE to wear make up, but I liked wearing it and that it had become something I did every morning. That was that, or so I thought!

Then a relative very kindly bought my daughter a childs play make up set for her birthday. Fabulous NOT! So now I had to not only answer questions and try to field question after question about why this and why that, I now also had to deal with her walking down the stairs grinning as she had “just done her make up”… this she looked like a psychedelic maniac clown. It wasn’t long until she wanted to put it on every day, until she wanted to put lipstick on before leaving the house and then the straw that broke the camels back……it wasn’t long until she started playing with MY make up!!!!!

My GORGEOUS made up daughter. xx

My GORGEOUS made up daughter. xx

That was it, I knew I had to do something to try to douse the flames of this obsession before it grew to big.

It was during the Easter holidays I chose to do this project….to wear NO MAKE UP AT ALL! To anyone reading this who has blond eyelashes, you may appreciate that this is difficult to do. I think that I look like I have piggy eyes when I don’t wear mascara, but I had to do it.

Advanced warning and apologies for the following photo…..I am wearing NO MAKE UP!

Me without make up - I am sorry!

Me without make up – I am sorry!

So without advertising my little project one day I just didn’t wear make up, and to my surprise she didn’t notice. In fact it took her three days….?!?!?!?! I was noticing. I’d forgotten how quickly I could get ready, I was noticing how nice and clean my skin felt, and I also realised that no one else really cared if I wore make up or not. My daughter noticed on day four when she was in the kitchen helping me make bread. She looked closely at me and asked why I didn’t have any mascara on. I replied that I didn’t want to wear any. I then asked her “Is mummy prettier with or without make up?” Her answer…..”You are pretty both ways mummy”.

Since then I have worn the absolute minimum of make up. Below are photos of what I have worn up until recently….

my "old" make up bundle

my “old” make up bundle

Another pic of my make up

Another pic of my make up

Now…..or since then I have been wearing only tinted moisturiser and mascara, sorry I can’t do without mascara!

But I have noticed that my daughter hasn’t once asked for her make up, or for any to be put on her at all. So, is she only interested with make up because Mummy is? I believe so and although there is nothing wrong with wearing as much make up as you want – everyone is different; there are no rules – I do think that a five year old who is slightly obsessed with it and putting it on is a step too far. And so I am going to endeavour to keep it to a minimum for a while for both of our sakes!


The 12 week campaign – Week ONE

Varenicline (Champix® tm) is my new best friend, for the next 11 weeks and counting anyway.





One week ago today, Thursday 9th April 2015, I took my first little white pill with a glass of water after I had eaten, and waited….I had the day before been to see the Nurse at my GP’s and spoken about my desire to want to stop smoking and that I had tried by myself in the past and have never been successful; I always start smoking again. Stupid isn’t it.

  • I have tried patches on the arms; they made my arm red and itchy
  • I have used E-cigarettes; they just made me want a real cigarette
  • I have tried plain old-fashioned will-power……I am not that strong
  • I have stopped smoking following an bout of illness, whether it be chest infection/flu/sickness…..eventually I always started again.

I need help in doing this. I WANT to stop and stay stopped. I have three children and I would hate myself if they started smoking because Mummy did it. I am burning money, which I don’t have and actually need; I cannot justify the cost anymore. I have seen members of my family be very ill through smoking; I don’t want this for myself in later years.

Twenty years, yes I started smoking at the stupid, young and impressionable ago of 14 (!), I have had this “friend” and now is the time to let go. I’m making it sound like something I am going to be sad to say goodbye to; well I am actually but pleased that I am doing it. If you have had a habit, of any kind, good or bad, for a long period of time, suddenly losing that and not having it there is difficult. Like giving up your driving licence and relying on another form of transport, like changing a job, changing your diet, losing a friend or pet….suddenly that thing which has been an almost constant in your life is no longer there and you have be strong and carry on. I will carry on. I will be a non-smoker.

The Nurse I see, Jo, is absolutely completely fantastic. She isn’t patronising, but welcoming and understanding. I feel as if she really wants to help me, not just because she is paid to, but because she genuinely wants to see me stop. She explained how Champix works, and called the 12 week course “a 12 week commitment“. This made me think; it IS a commitment, to myself to improve and extend my life, health and bank balance. I am aware of the possible side-effects, which lets face it you get with EVERYTHING nowadays…..feeling sick – Yep I can deal with that, difficulty sleeping – please?! I have had three children I know what sleep deprivation is, abnormal dreams – yep I can handle these too. BRING IT ON!

So how have I found my first week? I hate to say it but relatively easy. Sorry. Actually with Champix you can continue to smoke for the first week , with a view to cutting down the number of cigarettes you smoke within by the end of the first week and then stopping completely by the end of the second week. Obviously when I returned home and told the Husband this I emphasised “I can still smoke” bit, like I was clinging on to the very last point.

I did continue to smoke. For the first 3 days I continued smoking but I also cut down how many I smoked…then Saturday night, fortunately (I say fortunately as I think in hindsight it was a silver lining) I picked up the sickness and diarrhoea bug that had been going around my house. Obviously the last thing I wanted to do was smoke, so I didn’t; and I haven’t since…..Well…I did fancy a cigarette on Monday morning, not because I wanted it, but because I always had one mid-morning in the past. I lit it and immediately I hated it. It tasted vile and I felt dirty.

I continued to not smoke, and I can honestly say I haven’t had any craving for nicotine; it’s the routine I’m missing. I miss having a cigarette with my morning coffee; when I get back from doing the school run; once the kids are in bed, to have a break from housework, after dinner, before bed…..

My first follow up appointment with Nurse Jo was booked for Tuesday, and I was excited to go and tell her how I well I feel I have been doing. I told her about the stomach bug, etc and she was thrilled with how I was doing. The real test was the breathalyser thing-me-bob (I don’t know what it’s called!) It is like a breathalyser you see the police doing on drivers they suspect have been drinking, but this measures the level of carbon monoxide (I think) in my lungs. During my first appointment my levels were at 18mms, on Tuesday (5 days later 3 of which I had not smoked for) my levels had reduced to 2mms!!!! Whoop Whoop!! I felt like dancing, and that gave me what I needed to carry on with the determination I have got.

Don’t get me wrong I know that the next 11 weeks may not be as easy, and I will have tests thrown at me, however this time I feel differently about it.

So, please think good thoughts for me, and keep things crossed that this time I WILL stop smoking and beat this horrible habit once and for all. I will let you know how things are next week…..

Much love



Sleeping companions: How many is too many?

My son is almost 4 but anyone would think he is almost 75 when it comes to his routine and habitual foilbles. He carved his niche into his bedtime routine quite soon after coming out of his cot and in to a “big boys” bed.

The sleeping companions

He has always had, since birth, as all my children have, a knitted blanket – he actually has two! I am not sure how that happened, but he has two both the same in colour, pattern and size. He has always been put to bed with them. It was relatively soon after getting his new big boy bed in late 2013 that he began adding to his sleeping companions. Enter “Iggle Piggle” (from In the Night Garden seen on Cbeebies bedtime hour), he originally belonged to my daughter, but over time she lost the love for Iggle Piggle in favour of more girly, pretty dolls; in stepped my son to adopt the now unloved and discarded blue stuffed toy with his velcroed red blanket.

Shortly after this, Iggle Piggle was joined by “monkey” – this is a soft toy which was purchased from the gift shop of Colchester Zoo on his first birthday. Monkey has previously just sat in the book shelf until my Son decided that he needed another friend to cuddle at night.

This was swiftly followed by “Football Horse” – this is a soft toy of the Ipswich Town Football Clubs mascot “Bluey” given to us by some friends whose children had outgrown the soft toy stage. My son, who had then recently begun to show an interest in football and had been to a few Ipswich Town home games, literally pounced upon him and would not let it go – enter sleeping companion number FOUR!



"Football Horse"

“Football Horse”


At this stage, it began to cross my mind that his bed was now starting to get a teeny bit busy, but try as I might I could not get him to relinquish any of his beloved friends. On the rare occasion that I was successful, and put him to bed minus a friend or two, he would sneakily retrieve them once the light was off and Mummy had disappeared downstairs. Cheeky monkey.

Over time the number of my Son’s companions has increased considerably. In addition to the two blankets, Iggle Piggle, Monkey and Football Horse we now also have;


“Football teddy”

“Mickey Mouse”

“Cars cushion”

“Small iggle piggle”


“Action Man”

“Dragon toy”

“Little Doggy”

“Optimus Prime”

“Easter Bunny”


"Cars Cushion"

“Cars Cushion”

"Optimus Prime & Action Man"

“Optimus Prime & Action Man”

"Mickey Mouse & little Iggle Piggle"

“Mickey Mouse & little Iggle Piggle”



"Superman, Dragon toy & Megatron"

“Superman, Dragon toy & Megatron”

"Little doggy, Action man, Easter Bunny & Superman"

“Little doggy, Action man, Easter Bunny & Superman”

Most of his "friends"

These are the names which my Son has given them, and he cuddles all of them and HAS to have them when he goes to bed.

If somehow he is put to bed without first accounting for the attendance of his friends, he will shout downstairs to me, that he can’t find….enter friends name here…..only when they are all present and correct will he allow slumber to take him.

He will still not give any of them up. He cuddles them, lays on them, dribbles on them, clings to them and gets tangled up in them. What he is unaware of is that when Mummy (me) goes up to bed, I untangle his limbs from the numerous friends, move them away and make some space for his little body to actually sleep comfortably.

So….how many is too many? My son goes to bed with 16(!) friends. What is your child/rens, or your magic number? Is there a magic number?

(Please note at the time of doing this post, I had failed to notice that I had not taken a photo of the original “Iggle Piggle” apologies for this oversight. Consider my wrists slapped!)


S xx

If you go down to the woods today…….

School holidays + Easter weekend around the corner + the Hubster taken time off work = the obligatory family day out.

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We took our family day trip yesterday, to Rendlesham Forest in Woodbridge, Suffolk. Despite the weather being a bit iffy of late, we threw caution to the wind, donned our welly boots and coats, packed some sandwiches and off we went. And what a wonderful day we had.

To our surprise the weather decided to give us a beautiful day, sunshine, a small breeze, blue skies and no rain!

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We have been to Rendlesham Forest before, however this time we actually completed the 3 mile walk without much moaning from the rugrats. We spent a lovely, exhilarating two and a half hours walking around the long “red arrowed” trail looking for pine cones, squirrel spotting, muddy-puddle jumping, or in my case avoiding. We collected sticks and the girls pretended to be Maleficent with a large walking stick. I taught the children how to age a tree when we came across a tree stump. We took a break half way around and had a break; we shared a packet of “pink Panther” wafer biscuits and a bottle of drink, got damp bums and laid in the sunshine enjoying the complete silence.

Taking a breakT & G taking a break

L taking a break

It truly was a really family orientated, no technology allowed (you can’t get a signal in the forest!) (n.b. photo taking IS allowed), getting back to nature, getting exercise and fresh air and not spending any money on completely un-needed tat kind of a day.


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Rendlesham Forest is a wonderful experience, and I would urge everyone to pay a visit if at all possible. You are able to dogs, ride bikes, and have picnics. The kids loved the play park, and we all enjoyed our picnic in the sunshine.

Happy Easter. xx

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An open letter to Katie Hopkins

Well said Joshua Barlow! I am in the 1in4 group too.

Those who are fortunate enough not to have cope with depression do not realise just how lucky they are. It is not something I would wish upon anyone.
Those who are lucky enough not to have to care for and live with a family member who suffers from depression cannot truly empathise the toll it takes, how much that person can change, and that actually they do not WANT to have depression, they just want to feel themselves again.
Depression requires listening, being there and understanding not being made to feel like an idiot or someone with a “self-obsession”!


Dear Katie,

Earlier today it came to my attention that you had tweeted your opinions about depression – the biggest mental health issue that faces this country, bar your ignorance.

Many believe that the opinions you spout are nothing more than a cry for attention much like when a dog defecates for the attention of its owner, which ironically is a form of separation anxiety.

When I read your tweets I was not surprised that you had decided to shit on the floor in the hopes of a reaction – Something you have done many times and will probably continue to do until you fade away into obscurity.
Unfortunately this is not the Big Brother house so you cannot be voted out and we cannot turn you down as you did to Lord Alan Sugar – because, like a bad smell you return to fill the nose of society with…

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