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There’s nothing I like better than a trip to the cinema, and with a new film out this week  called Bad Moms, you’d think I’d want to be out there watching it, wouldn’t you?

I mean, it celebrates mums “playing up” and rebelling against the conformities of parenthood and “acting badly.”

Whoo, go mummies! It’s now socially acceptable to drink wine and hate PTA meetings if you want to!

(Why, thank you. That’s very kind of you. Erm…)

Why does it have to be seen as a ‘bad’ thing in the first place? Surely it’s just mums being mums and an actual person with separate preferences.

They still are one, after all. You don’t check yourself in at the door of parenthood and throw your old self away forever. You still need to be you, too.

Do Dads get all this crap? Do they heck. They just go about their business being totally unjudged if they would rather poke at their eyes than go to a bake sale or drink a pint in the pub.

It seems mums can’t win whatever they do, anyway.

Just today some absolute charmer Daily Mail columnist had her opinion and a bitch at the “twee mummy bloggers” who blog about crafts and their family lives, describing them as saccharine.

Shona Sibary wrote:

“For years, nauseatingly smug yummy mummies have created carefully curated blogs and Instagram accounts, ramming pictures of their colour co-ordinated children, expensive kitchens and perfectly honed bodies down our throats – and often making thousands of pounds in the process from sponsored comments.

“One of these blogs, which lays claim to the dubious accolade of being the UK’s number one mummy blog,  includes tips on how to make autumn suncatchers (no, I don’t know what they are either) and helpful instructions on how to make your own bookmarks.

Do these women have nothing better to do?”

The sheer hypocrisy of this article is just breathtaking as this is a columnist who regularly pimps her family life out in the media, and presumably for money too.

Nope, we can’t win. “Bad” if having fun and sometimes not conforming to the stereotypical mommy role, or being slagged off for being twee and saccharine if conforming to crafts and baking types.

How about accepting we’re all individuals and like different stuff instead of knocking each other down or pigeonholing us all?

 

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I know I say it every year, but Christmas seems to be getting earlier and earlier.

On venturing into town today, my point was made quite spectacularly by seeing all the festive stock out on the shelves already.

I kid you not.

We’re only five days into September (FIVE!) and we’re seeing the likes of this….

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They’ve actually been out on the shelves since the middle of August.

Summer has barely even had a chance to start (I don’t think it actually HAS got started this year.)

The sun has sputtered and fizzed a little bit trying to break through, but for the most part has failed dismally at giving us a nice hot summer.

So, I’d like to think we’d be allowed some semblance of summer before we’re expected to get our festive heads on and start thinking about Santa and mince pies.

The tins of chocolates are out already too. You know, the huge tins of Quality Street that are compulsory at Christmas time.

Stuffing your face with chocolates after the big turkey dinner in front of the telly, even though you can barely lift a finger to put the next toffee finger or purple triangle in your mouth.

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What would be the point of buying them this early, anyway? Are we supposed to buy them and save them up for Christmas or something?!

I can really see that happening in this house. The idea would be to buy early to save money, but the reality would be they’d all get scoffed by mid October and by the time ACTUAL Christmas rolled around, we’d be sick to death of the sight of the bloody things, never mind want to eat them.

My bets are all on when the first Christmas song is played in the shops, and the strains of Noddy Holder shouting “IT’S CHRISTMASSSSS!” hits the shopping arcade airwaves.

I reckon October. I’m sure it was last year.

I bloody love Christmas, it’s my favourite time of year, but give up with the months long build up already.

We want to celebrate in actual December, not start seeing Easter eggs in the aisles in Christmas week instead (yup, it happened.)

What do you think? Do you think some of the magic is lost when the build up starts in August, or are you happy to celebrate all year round?

 

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It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago since I was thirteen, with Jason Donovan posters on the wall and Stock, Aitken and Waterman were at number 1 every week in the UK Top 40 countdown.

Somehow, when I must have been looking the other way though, time galloped on and I suddenly landed a thirteen year old child myself.

How did THAT happen?!

So, now he’s thirteen, he thought he’d join Facebook to “see what all the fuss is about.”

Well, I figured he’s old enough, and most of his school year have been on it for ages anyway. (Naughty.)

Not to mention being a social media addict myself has its advantages as I can answer any questions, and show how to set it up properly and safely.

Can you imagine it being around when we were at school?! Argh. As if you didn’t have enough to think about entering your teen years without having to worry whether your pictures were getting enough “likes”.

Seriously, some just do.

Have you got the duck pout just right?! Tagged all your friends in your latest selfie with “mainz babes” (whatever the hell that means, I’m obvs not down wiv the kidz.)

Then sit back and wait for the “gawjus” “aww hun” comments to come flooding in.

Seriously, I couldn’t be bothered. It gives you a nosey insight into the world of the “populars” and you thank your lucky stars you were never a part of all that appearances and desperate for everyone’s approval crap.

Luckily for me, the 13 year old laughs in the face of all that nonsense too.

It makes you think though, it’s all out there for you to cringe over a few years down the line if you make a habit of posting often.

Teenage angst outpourings used to be confined to a hastily scribbled diary with pen and notebook. For our eyes only.

Now though, it’s gone public. I’m sure my 18 year old self would have cringed at the ramblings and any duck pout pictures of my 13 year old self.

What would teenage you have posted on Facebook?! Mine would have probably told everyone I was listening to Jason, watching Heathers with Christian Slater, or going for bike rides around the countryside.

 

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Summer doesn’t seem to have got started properly here this year as the weather has been so rubbish, but it’s already drawing  to a close.

The evenings are getting darker, and the air a little cooler.

After saying that though, it’s definitely one of my favourite times of year.

Christmas is  just around the corner (even though I do think that mince pies and the Christmas tins of chocolate shouldn’t be in the shops this early. Co-op, I’m looking at you.)

One of my all time favourite things to do at this time of year though is blackberry picking.

 

It’s fun, it’s free, and it’s something that everyone loves to do.

Even the newly turned teenager in the family who finds most days out “boring” nowadays.

Sigh.

So today we armed ourselves with a couple of plastic boxes and set off to see what we could find.

We found some lovely blackberries, which I was going to make a crumble or something with, but instead we’ve all just been eating them as they are instead.

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Very yummy they were too.

Next time I may get to actually make something with them.🙂

Do you go blackberry picking?

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It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago that us grown ups were in fact the children, but in the grand scheme of parenting it might as well have been a hundred years ago as it’s changed that much.

Who remembers these?

Going to the pub

Pre Wetherspoons days, where the pubs are family friendly places that stay open all day, that is.

Back when the pubs used to just open on a lunchtime for a couple of hours, and when they did, children weren’t allowed in the actual bar so had to sit outside with their Mum and Dad as well with the can of cola and bag of crisps.

 

No car seats

Car seats and booster seats for kids? Unheard of. Just strap yourself in the back, and away you go. As long as you had a seatbelt, that was all that was needed!

Brightly coloured food

The more gaudy, the better. E numbers? What are they?! It’s not a real party if the jelly’s not bright red, and the sweets don’t turn your tongue blue.

Smoking

Clouds of smoke wafting over your food as you eat lunch whilst out? Parents or relatives smoking in the car whilst you silently gag in the back due to all the fumes?!

Yuck. Hard to imagine life pre smoking bans now, isn’t it?

Luckily for kids in these times, the dangers of such things are more widely known, and inventions such as car seats, additive free food and smoking alternatives are now widely available.

Vapelux disposable e cigarettes are one such invention, and provide a way to give up smoking.

They come in a variety of different fruity smells, which smell infinitely nicer than clouds of smoke!

 

What things did you do as a child that aren’t the norm?

I’d love to know via the comments box below!

 

This post is in collaboration with Vapelux.

 

 

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Summer Car Journeys

One of the best things for us about the upcoming summer months is the loading up of the car and the heading off to the beach for a bit of seaside fun.

It’s what memories are made of. A bit of sun, some sand, and a bucket and spade to build awesome sandcastles surrounded by a moat an the obligatory flag (usually an ice lolly stick) waving proudly out of the top.

Not to mention some paddling in the sea as well. Which would usually be freezing, but that’s half the fun!

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The car journey for us when we were little would begin with everyone piling into the car, Dad driving and Mum with the little bag of pear drops and sherbet lemons to suck on as Dad manoeuvred the streets to take us to our coastal destination.

Wales was always a firm favourite, so quite a lot of driving was involved for this.

Just hoping that we didn’t actually ever get lost, because actually asking for directions was never on the cards. You can’t ask for directions, that’s far too easy! Surely you’re meant to go round and round in circles getting more and more irate when you can’t figure out which way to go?!😀

No? Just us?! Oh well…….

As there can be a lot of driving involved for summer holidays, don’t forget to check your car tyres and make sure there’s some spare ones in the boot for emergencies.

Point-S  has a great range of tyres available in all kinds of tyre types and brands, so there’s bound to be one to match your needs and car.

What are your favourite car driving and trip memories?

Wherever you go this year, make sure lots of good memories are made!:-)

 

 

This post was in collaboration with Point-S.

 

 

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When the kids have had a full day’s work at school, you’d think the first thing they’d want to do is kick off their shoes, take off their uniform and just veg out in front of the telly.

If your household is anything like ours though, once school is over there’s a whole lot of different places to be.

Between our two, they have Cubs, swimming lessons and football practice.

I suppose it could be worse, as we do have a couple of evenings where there’s nowhere to go and they can just play on the Wii or read or whatever.

On the days that we have lessons though, there seems to be a mad dash to get there and somehow to fit tea in as well.

Dilemmas such as do we have tea before or after swimming?

If it’s before, we need to keep it light so there’s no feeling like a lead balloon in the middle of the pool.

If it’s after, they’ll be complaining they’re dying of starvation and need to eat RIGHT NOW.

“Is it ready yet? Is it READY yet?!”

<counts to ten>

It’s the after school club evenings that I find myself rushing to cook, so to make it easier when I cook a dish, I always make a bit extra so that it can easily be frozen and taken out for an instant ready meal.

Bolognese sauce and soups freeze brilliantly, and we just take them out of the freezer and put them in the microwave to defrost and heat up thoroughly.

It works well for weaning babies as well – cook and puree vegetables separately, and let them cool completely.

Then pop them into an ice cube tray so you can pop out carrots or potato etc whenever you need them!

Just thoroughly defrost and heat up and you have a meal all ready to go.

It’s a great time saver, and Panasonic microwave ovens have a great range to choose from, whatever it is you’re looking for.

Quick and easy is the way to go, whilst still staying healthy and getting the right food to keep us active and sustained.

Do you find yourself rushing to and from after school clubs? Or just have busy days in general?

If so, what do you do food wise on these days?

Share your tips and/or what you do in the comments below!

 

 

This post is in collaboration with Panasonic.

 

 

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