Posts about life as a working mum. The ups, downs and humour.



Sunday, 25 June 2017

New crush!

I have a new crush. It's OK though its a celebrity I'll never meet & in reality would be doomed.  I actually don't fancy many celebs as a lot if them seem like knobs.

Joel  step forward.

I didn't know of his existence until I'm a celebrity get me out of here but by the end of the series really liked him.

Move forward several months & after seeing his stand up show I now love him.

He was hilarious, warm and bloody gorgeous!

In reality he's far too sculpted. See his Instagram for top of amazingness. He'd need to eat some pies or my mum tum would be a serious issue 😊


Who's your celeb crush?

Love Emma xxx

P.s since seeing his ACTUAL girlfriend my fantasy romance is over. She's too bloody perfect & I feel inferior even in my head! Stupid gorgeous slim, tall, perfect hair women.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Getting Married? No thanks.

Miss or Mrs?

Not married then?

Why?

Don't fancy being a wife?

No I do not!



From an early age I knew I didn't want to get married. I remember it being discussed at upper school and I was already set on being unmarried. The thought of being someone's wife never appealed. It felt like being someone's possession. I never understood why the woman's surname and title changed but the man's didn't.

On paper you can tell a woman has a husband.  You can't tell if a man has a wife. This never sat well with me.

I also don't really like the term wife.

Now I'm older I still have the same viewpoint but its not my main concern. I  have occasionally gone along with being Mrs Jones as it can be easier.

If you want to be married that's fine. If you don't that's also fine. Weddings are fun. Who doesn't like a party with their friends and family and drinking, eating and dancing?

BUT for me the BIG thing is I just don't understand what being married is for! What does it do? What's the point?

I've been with my partner 14 years. We have a house. We have 2 children. What difference would being married make?

I've heard some people say its because as a family they want the same name but a deed poll would sort that out.

Others have said its the commitment but how much more committed can you be than by having children together.

Stability but why are you more stable married than unmarried? It's easier to divorce than get a mortgage nowadays.

It really does puzzle me.  I'm not a marriage basher but its genuinely not for me. I'm very happy living in sin.

Rockley Park Haven Review

We have just returned from a lovely 4 day break at Rockley Park Poole.

We were lucky enough to have AMAZING weather and had the best time.

I can 100% recommend the site although if you have mobility issues it might be a problem as it is quite hilly.

The site has everything you would expect from a Haven site.  Swimming pools, arcade, play areas, Mash & Barrel, Live Lounge, crazy golf and trampolines (these are paid for activities).  Rockley Park also has its own beach access.  Sometimes these beaches can be a bit disappointing but Rockley Park was lovely.  Safe and clean with a harbour, café and play area.  You can participate in watersports and do a spot of crab fishing.





The swimming pool was a hit with the kids with a water slide and small splash park.  I always think they could be a tad bigger but it was perfectly adequate and in the warmer months the outside area will be open so everyone can spread out a little more.

Rockley Park has a lovely lay out and is one of the few sites where you do not need to access the arcade to get to other facilities.  It looks fresh and clean and I liked the beachy look of the main complex.

If you'd like to see some of the site and what we got up to you can watch my YouTube video below.

Youtube video of our break at Rockley Park

We had such a lovely time we are hoping to return next Easter.

Emma xx

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Polling day - School closures

Polling day school closures is a HUGE bugbear of mine.

My children's school closes for polling days which I think makes a mockery of the huge debate over parents removing children for term time holidays.



It appears when it is convenient for the school/council etc then your child's education is not important but if you deem it necessary to remove your child then you face the wrath of fines.  How about if I fined them?  My children's school was closed for 3 separate days last year.  5th May for police commissioners election, 23rd June for Brexit and 5th July for teachers union strike.

I had to use 3 days annual leave to cover these closures.  I know other parents had to pay for childcare.  I know work in a school and still cannot understand the decision and it is now more difficult for me childcare wise.

On the 4th May my school is closed AGAIN!!! This time for local elections.  I cannot have the day off as the school I work in is open.  Luckily my OH can have the day off although its not very convenient.

That will be 4 lost days in 12 months! How is that allowable?

I understand that voting needs to be made accessible to communities but why does my school have to be shut ALL the time.  We have a large church up the road with a community room.  Everyone knows where it is and it even has a car park.  Why isn't that used?

I feel so annoyed by the situation now that I am going to write to my local council.  The school say it is not in their control.

Does this effect you?  What are your thoughts?

Emma xxx

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Oh My Blog - Debbie from My Chaotically Electric Life

Oh My Blog is a monthly interview series, where fellow bloggers come together to answer a series of questions on a specific theme. This is a chance to get acquainted with a whole range of bloggers, some of whom you may not have heard of before, and learn a little more about them!

This month, the theme is Mums (because it’s Mother’s Day soon!) and we’re hosting Debbie from My Chaotically Eclectic Life.

1. Introduce us to your mum. What’s her name? What does she do? Reveal her age if you dare!
My mum’s name is Pat, she’s just turned 70 and she’s retired.

2. What’s the one thing your mum always used to say to you?
When I was younger she had loads of things she used to say but the one that sticks in my mind was ‘You can’t kid them that have kidded thousands”
Her favourite now with my kids is something along the lines of ‘your mum never got away with it, so don’t think that you will!’

3. Someone’s playing your mum in a film. Who is it and why?
This is really difficult. I suppose I would probably have to say Judi Dench for no reason other than that they are similar in age.

4. She’s won the lottery. What’s the first thing your mum buys for herself?
Depends how much she won because after spending on her grandkids, and possibly me, she might not have that much left. She doesn’t really go anywhere as my dad is pretty much housebound. If I had to say it would probably be a book, or maybe a new laptop as her’s has been playing up a bit recently.

5. What embarrassing story about you does she always tell when you meet new people?
She doesn’t. It’s not from a lack of embarrassing stories though, maybe she just can’t decide. However she does seem to remember stories differently to me and to be honest I’m no longer sure who’s version is correct any more.

6. What are your plans for Mother’s Day this year?
Not sure yet as we have to juggle seeing both my mum and my MIL as well as spending time with my own kids. I will probably take my mum and MIL somewhere for afternoon tea on the Saturday and then go out for the day on Mother’s Day with a meal included because I don’t intend to cook.

7. What’s her favourite TV show at the moment?
Criminal Minds, Rizzoli & Isles, Hawaii 5-0, NCIS:LA – generally most American crime dramas. To be honest as long as it’s not a repeat I think she’s happy.

8. What’s the biggest or most important thing that your mum inspired you to do?
I’m not sure my mum has really inspired me to anything, at least not that I’m aware of. She’s never been one to push me to do anything, but whatever I’ve decided she’s supported me unconditionally. She’s been there for advice and support at every stage.

I suppose, based on the above, she has inspired me to be a good parent and support my children with whatever they decide to do in life.

9. Your round at the bar! What’s your mum drinking?
Depends which bar. If we’re at the local pub it will probably be half a lager. If we’re out for a
special occasion (which usually finds us at TGI Friday’s) it will be a cocktail. Her favourite is the frozen black Irish (FBI)

10. What’s the biggest difference between you and your mum?
We’re not all that different to be honest. That said she smokes and drinks coffee and I don’t do either.

11. Most important question of the lot. What is your mum’s stance on 50 Shades of Grey? Does she love it? Hate it? Not even know what it is?
I’m not sure she even knows what it is. I’m pretty sure she’s never read it and definitely hasn’t seen the film.

12. What’s your favourite memory of your mum?
It’s not really a favourite but it’s one that sticks in my mind as it made me seem like the sensible one, despite an evening of drinking. When my eldest was a baby, my mum had her overnight while I had a night out with my OH. We arrived home to find the house broken into. Cue lots of hysterics from me for a couple of minutes before I calmed down and phoned the police. The next call was to my mum who was ready to start putting her coat and shoes on ready to come down until I reminded her that she was looking after my daughter 😊

13. What do you think your mum was like as a kid?
Very much like me if what she says is anything to go by. Although she’ didn’t have children until 10 years after I did so probably spent a lot more time partying.

14. Cast your mind back a bit; what was the thing you did as a child or teenager that made your mum the angriest she has ever been with you?
I may have selected memory on this but I can’t remember my mum ever been really angry. Don’t get me wrong we had our fair share of arguments but all in all she was pretty reasonable. My dad on the other hand, well that’s an entirely different story.

15. Finally, what’s the BEST piece of advice your mum ever gave to you?
You can make your own decisions, but you have to deal with the consequences. That’s not to say she wasn’t there for advice if it was needed but I had to go to her

If you enjoyed this post, you should hop over to Debbie’s blog and follow her on Twitter!
Blog:  www.mychaoticallyeclecticlife.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/chaoticeclectic

If you are interested in joining in Oh My Blog with the lovely Amy at The Mighty Duxburys click on the link below.

Increase your blogs DA linky
http://mightyduxburys.com/


Oh My Blog!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Motherhood is........part 3

Motherhood is.........

Having to always have a snack/drink to hand. Heaven forbid your children don't eat for an hour.

Making sure said snack/drink is healthy.

Well most of the time!

Always having to know where the nearest toilet is.

Always making sure everyone uses the toilet before any journey.

I mean ANY journey!

Thinking crafts will be fun & the spending days clearing up glitter & beads & cursing yourself.

Failing to remember the last time you saw a film over a PG rating.

Emma xxx



Friday, 17 March 2017

The Walking Dead - Obsession and Annoyances

I've become slightly obsessed with The Walking Dead recently. I know I know where have I been!!! I'm just finishing season 5.


If you haven't seen this far the below may contain spoilers.

In The Walking Dead it is about survival and in several episodes this seems to be at the expense of kindness, trust, decency and fairness AND sometimes if I'm honest a decent storyline.

It is kill or be killed.

I think in this situation I'd be a gonna. I'm too level headed and lack any physical trait that may help eg - martial arts, running, handling a gun, camping, the list is endless.

Whilst my obsession is raging there are a few things that have really bugged me about the show. Some are curiosities & some are true annoyances.

What do the women do about periods? Probably not the most important issue when you are potentially being bitten by a zombie but come on where are they finding sanitary towels & tampons???

Hair. The women should have pits you can plait and the men should all be sporting pony tails by now. I know a few times we've seen them groom but seriously do they all kill a zombie and then have a shave/trim.

Judith. How is this kid surviving? Where's the steriliser, bottles, formula, nappies and all manner of other baby paraphernalia. Maybe we've all been doing it wrong. A box/sling and acorns. Job done. Who needs to spend hundreds of £'s in boots.

Weapons. Seriously I know America is a gun haven but where do all the bullets & guns come from. Especially the bullets. There always seems to be a steady supply.

New characters. Love a new character but why do so many of them die so quickly. Dawn, Noah, Lily (Tara's sister), Milton, Lizzie, Mika. It also seems they sometimes have a huge storyline to introduce a character just to have an elaborate death scene. Noah is a prime example. Huge hospital storyline, he escapes, meets the group and soon after RIP.  I thought he had so much potential. Why kill him so soon?

Killing our favourites. Why do they kill some of our favourites? Dale went way too soon. Hershel 😭 Beth had just grown & developed. Tyreese needed more of a story than just Judith's babysitter & he still has a firm grasp on the basis of civilisation & could have been an amazing character.  One character I wouldn't mind them bumping of is Carol. I've never warmed to her & season 5 has put me off her even more.  I haven't seen it but its been all over social media so I'm already gutted about Glenn. No!!!!!!!! He was one of the few real good guys. Poor Maggie.

Rick Grimes. Sometimes I love him. Sometimes I think he is a fruitloop & sometimes an absolute selfish violent knobhead & the group should really start making their own decisions & basically ignoring him.

What do you think? What's bugged you about the series.

Emma x

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Fractured - Short Story


Fractured

“For goodness sake! Why didn’t you call?” Melanie said sounding agitated,

“It was only a little fall. Nothing to worry about.” I replied trying not to let my irritation show,

“But mum you are in plaster. That’s hardly nothing is it?” I sighed looking at my daughter. She looked cross, harassed and worried. This was exactly why I hadn’t called her. I’d arranged a lift home and felt fine. Unfortunately a nurse had checked my next of kin details and called her without my knowledge. The nurse had probably thought she’d been doing the right thing.

I was home with my leg propped up and my daughter was busy in the kitchen. She had brought me a drink and some snacks on a tray. I could hear her banging about in the kitchen and the sound of something cooking on the hob. I’d tried to stop her. I was more than capable but she’d just told me to rest and I could see her mind was set. I knew Melanie worried and I loved her dearly but today her presence was making me feel like a burden. Since her dad, my beloved husband Jim had died three years ago she had called me like clockwork three times a week and we went for coffee most Saturday mornings. It’s like she thought I couldn’t cope alone. I missed Jim dearly but had surprised myself with a steely independence and had managed to build a strong support network of friends. Jim had been my rock and we had gone everywhere together but I’d coped better than I ever imagined. I still thought about him daily but it was always happy thoughts. I was just reminiscing about our last holiday together when Melanie interrupted my thoughts. “Earth to mum. Hey are you ok?”

“Sorry love was just thinking.”

“Oh. Are you ok?”

“Yes my love. Was thinking about your dad?” Melanie smiled continuing, “Do you remember when he broke his ankle falling over the cat? I’ve never heard him curse so much. I never think he forgave Charlie.”

“No that poor cat avoided him for weeks.” I laughed remembering the accident vividly. Melanie sighed seemingly lost in thought but then visibly shook herself off.

“I’ve made a quick shepherd’s pie. It’s just browning in the oven and the washing is on the line. So how exactly did you hurt yourself?” She settled herself on the sofa and her face relaxed,

“I was at the community centre for our ballroom dancing session…..”

“I thought ballroom dancing was supposed to be sedate.” Melanie said interrupting and laughing softly,

“Well it is but we were learning a new routine and I just lost my footing and fell awkwardly. Could have happened anywhere. It’s not a bad fracture. The doctors said it should heal well.”

“That’s good. When I got the call from the hospital I panicked. You really should have phoned.”

“Mel it was all under control. A friend took me down and stayed with me for a while and then Pam picked me up. I feel absolutely fine.”

“I’m so glad it wasn’t worse. I’ll pop and see you tomorrow.”

“There’s really no need love. Pam is going to come round for coffee and I can always ring Becky she’s only up the road.”

“Are you sure mum? It’ll be difficult on crutches living alone.”

“I’m fine love. You are busy. You don’t need to pop round.” After dishing up the shepherd’s pie and clearing the plates Melanie left and I relaxed. I needed to talk to her but now was not the time. I’d been dreading her spotting the holiday brochures under the coffee table. I wanted to tell her but was worried about her reaction. For the past 6 months I’d been seeing a lovely man called David. We had met at the community dances over a year ago and become firm friends. To start with it was purely companionship but had developed into something more. He had given me a new zest for life. It was partly his fault I fell today I remembered smiling. He’d convinced me to give Salsa dancing a go and I’d borrowed some higher heels for the afternoon. A mixture of speed, lack of experience and higher shoes lead to my downfall. It was a bit embarrassing but everyone was lovely and shared jokes about me being swept of my feet.  So far I’ve not discussed David with Melanie although I have mentioned him when discussing a collective group of friends. Pam thinks I’m being silly but I’m worried about how she’ll react.  She was so close to her dad.

Several weeks passed and I failed to talk to Melanie about David and our holiday plans. We’d settled on a cruise that left from Southampton and went around the Mediterranean. I’d always wanted to go on a cruise but Jim had hated boats. Two other couples were going to come. I was growing increasingly excited about it all but needed to discuss it was Mel before booking. 

One Friday Mel popped round to share a take away and watch a film when she unexpectedly mentioned going away. “I’ve been thinking mum. Do you fancy going to the Isle of Wight or maybe Spain? I could have a week off work and we could go away together.”

“Oh…I…Um….” I stammered.

“Don’t you like the idea? Obviously we’ll wait till your cast is off.”

“It’s not that love. It’s just I…Um…I might be going away already.”

“Really? With Pam? You didn’t mention it.” Mel said surprised,

“I’ve been meaning to tell you. I’ve meet a chap called David. We are planning to go away together. They’ll be six of us including Pam. It’s a cruise.” I blurted hurriedly feeling strangely nervous.

“You’re dating? How long?” Melanie said looking stunned,

“Um…about 6 months.” I said blushing,

“Mum! Why didn’t you tell me? That’s fantastic news. I’m delighted. Dad always said he didn’t want you to be alone. Where did you meet your fancy man then? Spill the beans. Did he have something to do with your fall?” she indicated my leg and grinned,

“Oh Mel I’m so glad you are pleased. I was worried about telling you. I met him a while ago through the community centre but it’s slowly developed. He’s a lovely man. We were at a salsa class when I fell.” I said smiling,

“What are you like?” Mel said laughing. She shook her head gently and sighed. “Mum I can’t believe you were worried about telling me. I’ve only ever wanted you to be happy. You’re too young to spend the rest of your life alone. I’d like to meet him though before you sail of into the sunset.”

We settled into a long conversation and I showed her some pictures. A week later following the removal of my cast we all got together and had a lovely evening meal. We poured over the brochure and I was delighted when Mel decided to join on us on the cruise with Pam’s daughter Kelly. I decided breaking my leg had been fate and said a silent thank you and began counting down the days till the now much anticipated cruise.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Newbie blogger tips

Newbie blogging tips

Linkies

Newbies may be puzzled when they first see the word linky. What is it & why participate?

A linky is when a host blog invites other blogs to link up a post, the aim is getting additional blog traffic and comments.

This can be a great way to interact with other bloggers & find interesting posts.

It is easy to join in. Copy your blog post URL to the linky, tweet about it & comment on some fellow posts. Make sure you read the host rules but it is usually to comment on the host and at least 2 other blog posts. 

Only negative is large linkies can be time consuming due to the commenting and you may not get as many comments back as you make. 

I was worried about the rules and what a linky was when I first started out. Don't be afraid just dive in.

No follow/do follow

When you search Google for information, the sites with the most links pointing to them rank high in the results.

Occasionally Google checks your blog and looks at all the links you have added. A normal link on your site is known as a ‘follow’ link because Google will follow that link to see where it goes.

The reason no follow/do follow is important is because Google’s guidelines say that any blogger should use a no-follow link when adding a paid link to their blog eg - you were given a product to review/paid to write a specific post.

If you use blogger you simply untick a box. I got worried & found sites telling me to enter HTML codes & was baffled. If you love coding brilliant if not just untick. Phew! Easy. No need to panic.

Social media

Try to get the same name across all platforms.  I have Life in the Mum's Lane across all platforms.
Get on instagram. I was late to the party as I thought how will a photo format help share my words! However it has become my favourite.  I love it.
My instagram link - come join me

Google Analytics

This is a free piece of software from Google that monitors traffic to your blog. To use Analytics, sign up for an account, then copy the code provided into your blog.  Your account will then start tracking things like visitor numbers and what posts they read while they’re visiting.

I must admit although I've signed up to this I've not really spent any time looking at the stats or understand some of the information it can provide so I'm very far from being an expert.

DA - domain authority

Domain Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) that shows how well a website will rank on search engines.  You need to have your own domain for this score to have any validity. For example if your URL is abc.blogspot.co.uk this will not give a valid score.  If your URL is abc.co.uk this would get a valid score.
1 is the lowest and 100 means you are the best in the world! Anything over 50 is professional with good back links.  A site I found was really useful and broke the score down.
1-10 Poor
11-20 Decent
21-30 Fair
31-40 Competitive
41-50 Good
51-60 Strong
61-70 Excellent
71-80 Outstanding
81-90 Superior
91-100 Rare

I have yet to get a score as only recently got my own domain and you usually need to wait a month or 2 for this to update.

I hope this helps.  These are the top 5 things I wish I'd known when I was starting out.  There is loads more information but I think understanding these 5 things will really help you get into the blogging world.  AND remember to enjoy you can easily get bogged down on stats and forget about the joy of writing.

Emma xxx



Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Easy Craft (DIY)

My daughter LOVES Diary of a Wimpy Kid and we have world book day very soon so I made a Diary of a Wimpy Kid inspired mask.

You will need
  • white foam sheet
  • pencil
  • black pen
  • sock/tights
  • scissors
  • double sided sticky tape
  • elastic
  • normal sell tape


I drew an outline of the face shape on the foam using a book for inspiration.

Cut this out and colour the hair strands and eyes black.

Cut the mouth out and then cover on the other side with a cut up sock or black tights.
(tights are best as this will be your child's viewing point - I bought some tights for this project which mysteriously have vanished so I used an old sock.  She can just about see!)

I used the double sided tape to stick the sock on which worked well.

Measure the elastic and use the double sided tape the stick on either side of the mouth.  Use a small piece of the normal tape to go over this for added strength and to stop the sticky bits catching on your child's hair.


Hey presto you are finished.



Thursday, 23 February 2017

World Book Day costume ideas


Room on the broom or The Worst Witch. If you have a witches costume from halloween this is a super easy option.  And if your child has the same multitude of stuffed toys mine have you could assemble the dog, cat, frog and bird in a bag/cauldron.



Diary of a wimpy kid.  Foam or cardboard mask, white t-shirt, black shorts or leggings, and your favourite book from the series.


A football kit is a bit of a cheat but ties in nicely with Frankie's Magic Football which my son loves.



Road Dahl's BFG is a great World Book Day costume and can be easy to make.  The ears are just a headband, pink paint and card. 





Click the link to see full details to make the costume.

How to make BFG ears, horn and waistcoat

Finally Harry Potter. Again if you have a cape from halloween hanging around that would do over a school shirt/trousers.  Some cheap black frame joke glasses and the all important lightening bolt scar.  This can be drawn with face paints or your own eyeliner/lipliner.  A lot of shops have full Harry Potter costumes fairly cheap if you'd prefer to purchase the whole look.

Happy world book day!

Emma xxx

Motherhood is............Part 2

Motherhood is.........

Not being able to leave the house alone

Running out of milk is a nightmare because a. You need tea! b. A trip to the shop which should be 10 minutes will take an hour.

Being the only one to put loo roll in the bathroom or know where its kept.

Dreading homework projects that begin with can you make.........

Thinking baking will be a fun activity but then remembering why you usually just buy ready made. The mess. The stress. The strange burning smell.

Wondering why you thought swimming lessons was a good idea when you have to rush around like a loon!

Being excited if you find a nice toilet on your travels. I honestly should write a best toilet facilities book.

Never sleeping properly ever again!


If you enjoyed this you might want to read Part 1 Motherhood is...............Part 1

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

It's not what it looks like - Short Story


It’s not what it looks like

Having come out of a long term relationship over a year ago all of my friends had decided it was time for me to move on. The very idea terrified me as it seemed whilst I’d been cocooned in a relationship the dating world had moved on considerably. Internet dating was the way forward now and I wondered what had happened to the days of meeting through friends or in a nightclub. Egged on by my friends I signed up to an internet dating site and after a few glasses of wine for dutch courage wrote what I hoped was a flattering introduction of myself and uploaded a picture.

Over the next few weeks I browsed people’s profiles and pictures and received a few emails but no one special caught my eye until I received a message from Stefan. He was 35, no kids, no previous marriage, good job, and nice looking. I tentatively set up a date after a few online conversations but was extremely nervous about the meeting what if we had nothing to say or he looked nothing like his picture. Or even worse took one look at me and ran off. One of my friends Sarah had previously tried internet dating and reassured me that it would be fine and even if it was terrible I could just put it down to experience and have a laugh about it with the girls later. I arranged to send her a text if I needed an escape plan or more disappointingly got stood up. We arranged to meet at a local pub and to my utter surprise the date went brilliantly. It turned out we liked the same music and TV shows and I instantly felt comfortable in his company.

Over the next few weeks we meet up regularly and things continued to go well but I had noticed that Stefan had started to check his mobile phone often when he thought I wasn’t looking. On the last date he had suddenly had to leave early with a rubbish excuse of forgetting he had to get up early for work the next day.

The following week I meet up with a few of my friends and told them about Stefan and his recent behaviour and everyone decided that he must either have a secret girlfriend or perhaps kids that he didn’t want me to know about. I decided to play things a bit cool when he next called but he started the conversation by apologising for leaving early on our last date and I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. However the next day I was in town and saw him in a coffee shop with a brunette woman similar in age. He had his arm around her and they were deep in conversation, I quickly turned around so he wouldn’t notice me. Feeling upset and annoyed I ignored his phone calls and emails and slowly became more and more angry at letting myself get involved with someone again.

I kept myself busy at work and tried not to dwell on things but Stefan kept going round and round in my mind. I decided to call him and confront the situation. That evening after work I gave him a call ready to launch into my prepared speech but he sounded genuinely pleased to hear from me and said he’d been worried as I hadn’t been returning his calls. I was completely torn I got on so well with him, he made me laugh and I had hoped for a future but what was he hiding. I needed to know what was going on so decided to ask him outright if he had a girlfriend to which he burst out laughing which wasn’t quite the response I’d been expecting. I told him I’d seen him with a woman and wanted to know who he was always calling and texting when we were out. After a long pause he said he’d rather explain things face to face and we arranged to meet after work the next day. I hardly slept a wink and couldn’t concentrate at work. The time went painfully slowly. Eventually 5.30 p.m. came round and I left the office to meet Stefan at the coffee shop down the road. When I arrived he was already there and waved. As I walked in he could obviously see from my face that I wasn’t happy and blurted out. “It’s not what it looks like!” Well if that isn’t a clichéd get out clause I don’t know what is. I instantly felt annoyed and disappointed and was about to leave when he explained that the woman I had seen was his sister and they had met up to talk about his mother. He went on to explain his mother was really ill and they’d been visiting to do the cooking and cleaning. I felt awful for jumping to conclusions but annoyed he hadn’t just been honest. A long chat ensued and I’m pleased to say that now a year down the road we are engaged, his mum is back to full health, his sister is lovely and I can whole heartedly recommend internet dating.

Censorship

We increasingly share our lives on social media. Some make there living this way. We like follows, thumbs up, views, comments & shares. We blog, vlog, insta, update and check in.

So what happens if you see something you don't agree with or rattles your cage? Do you comment? Unfollow? Tut & move on.

I tend to write a comment in my head & move on. I don't post as I don't want to upset them. Their life their rules. BUT they posted on social media. They wanted people to see. It's a weird line.

This week I've seen two things I wanted to comment on but didn't.



A YouTuber having lip fillers for the 3rd time after 2 not so successful attempts & a family on a ski holiday using kids clubs & nannies seemingly for large sections of the stay.

Both rattle me.  I usually like both social media people.

I've remained silent for fear of offending. I've censored myself.

What do you think? Do you comment? Do you think we over share? Are people entitled to an opinion if you posted online?

Emma xxx

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Oat & Raisin Cookies

Oat & Raisin Cookies

I love oat & raisin cookies but usually buy them rather than bake.  However I saw these on the Co-Op cook it website & decided to have a try. Very easy & super yummy. Only problem is I could eat them all.

Ingredients

  • 100g raisins
  • 1 orange
  • 60g butter softened 
  • 160ml sunflower oil 
  • 50g honey 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 120g plain flour
  • 240g porridge oats


Squeeze the juice from your orange & soak the raisins & put aside.
Honey, sugar, oil and butter & mix together.
Add egg, cinnamon and baking powder & combine.
Next add flour & porridge oats & mix.
Finally add your raisins & combine thoroughly.


 This should make about 15 cookies.

I just used large blobs. The recipe suggests an ice cream scoop.

I used 2 baking trays & baked for approx 14 mins on 175c.

Once baked allow to cool slightly on the baking tray before moving to a cooling rack.



Enjoy

Emma xxx

Full details & recipe from Co-Op site can be found here
Oat & Raisin Recipe

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

The Trouble with Goats & Sheep
Joanna Cannon

Very quirky British read. Set in the 1970s and has lovely feelings of nostalgia. It's not something I'd usually pick up but I'd seen brilliant reviews & I wanted something different. Margaret Creasy is missing on The Avenue and 10 year old Grace & Tilly decide to investigate.

I liked learning more about various characters on The Avenue but found the 'secrets' maybe needed to be fleshed out a bit more for certain individuals. Mrs Mortons is very well written though & wasn't what I expected.

Some lovely little one liners. Loved the section about weeds & goats & sheep.


I must admit though I'm not 100% sure what happened especially regarding the fire. It all seemed to fizzle out with a rushed conclusion after a fairly slow plot. I'm still not quite sure where Margaret Creasy had been, why she disappeared or why she came back. Also Tilly becomes quite ill but then just pops back with no explanation.

Whilst one of the secrets explains the hatred for Walter Bishop I'm still confused as to why they disliked him pre 1967.

I think some clues/descriptions were so subtle I may have missed something.

I'd be curious what you thought.

The trouble with goats & sheep is a really good novel that I enjoyed & thought about after but the disappointing ending means its a 4 star.

Emma xxx

Thursday, 26 January 2017

My Rosacea

I have Rosacea & am currently having a flare up which has prompted this post.

I've had it on & off for 10 years. It coincided with my 1st pregnancy. I thought it was hormonal & didn't realise it was a skin condition. I thought it was adult acne & skin sensitivity.

I had a short period of good skin followed by a very bad period where I was put on a 3 month course of antibiotics. This had little to no effect so I was referred to a dermatologist at the hospital.

This was a frustrating time as every time I went I saw a different consultant so they had no idea if it was better or worse & I continuously had to explain. I was also suffering eczema at this time which was part of my referral & I feel this meant my rosacea was overlooked.

After 18 months of various lotions & potions my skin improved. The consultant seemed uncertain if this was due to treatment, hormones or just luck but I was just relieved everything seemed relatively normal.

This however didn't last and I've had problems on & off every since.

My eczema is under control. I need occasional steroid cream & use Aveeno moisturiser often. After much trail & error this was the best for me.

My rosacea however is not and has been a weird and very frustrating experience. A bad flare up can leave me in tears and it can effect my confidence and ability to socialise.  I feel like seeing a doctor is wasteful as some people are actually ill. I usually only go when I have a bad infection or am extremely low.

My rosacea occasionally effects my eyes.  I hadn't known this was linked until a couple of years ago & just thought I was unlucky.  I usually just buy some eye ointment from the chemist and get on with it.

However this week I've had a flare up with acne like spots & it has really effected me.

I started a new job recently & I'm now facing people daily & they are new people.  I'm in a school and a few children have commented on my red nose/cheeks.  As I also had a cold I just blamed it on that but it made me inwardly cringe and wish the floor could swallow me up.

I feel self conscious & less of a person when a flare up is bad.

A lot of people will not understand & I know it sounds ridiculous.

The trouble is it largely effects my nose, mouth & part of cheeks. When its just red it's easier to cover but when I have the strange spots make up clings or slips & it doesn't sit right therefore drawing more attention to the area of concern.

I've decided to visit my GP although already feel bad for taking their time. I called on Monday and have an appointment for Friday evening. My skin settled a little over the weekend and the spots have reduced but I want some medication so when another flare up occurs I can reduce the symptoms quicker.

I've tried Avene Antirougeurs Jour redness relief cream as its highly recommended but it makes my skin redder and seems to annoy blemishes so is definitely not for me.  I've also tried Clinque Redness Solutions in the past which also didn't agree with my skin.  Over the years I've tried several of the green tinted creams that most make up brands offer but none have really done the job.   I'm currently trying Dr Nick Lowe Redness Relief.  It feels nice and made a small difference this morning but I don't think its going to be the solution I was looking for.

If you'd like more info on Rosacea I've written a separate post so click here.

Wish me luck & if anyone has any tips or wants to share their experience I'd love to hear from you.

Emma xxx


Rosacea - Information, Symptoms, Treatment

Rosacea is a common but poorly understood long-term skin condition that mainly affects the face.

Rosacea often starts with a tendency to blush/flush easily and this can lead to other symptoms.
  • burning and stinging sensations
  • permanent redness
  • spots
  • small blood vessels in the skin becoming visible
  • eye symptoms (inflammation of the eyelids, dry eyes, reoccurring stye).
  • Thickening of skin usually around the nose (rhinophyma) This is uncommon and in severe cases.
The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, although it is thought it maybe abnormal blood vessels. 

Some people report certain triggers cause a flare up. Common triggers are -
  • exposure to sunlight
  • stress
  • strenuous exercise
  • hot or cold weather
  • hot drinks
  • alcohol
  • caffeine
  • spicy foods
Treatment varies dependant on the symptoms. Rosacea is a chronic condition that is incurable but can be controllable.  

There are a number of things you can do to help keep the symptoms of rosacea under control -
  • avoiding things that trigger your symptoms if known
  • taking good care of your skin and using products suitable for sensitive skin
  • using make-up to camouflage persistent redness
  • using an SPF daily
If you have round red bumps that rise from your skin (papules) and pus-filled swellings (pustules) caused by rosacea, there are a number of different medications to try which require a prescription.
  • metronidazole cream or gel
  • azelaic acid cream or gel
  • ivermectin cream
If symptoms are severe antibiotics often used are tetracycline, oxytetracycline, doxycycline and erythromycin.  This can be for 1 to 2 weeks or a low dose for several months.

Redness can also sometimes be successfully improved with vascular laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment. These treatments require a referral to a dermatologist and they're not usually available on the NHS, so you may need to pay for them privately.




Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Do we have time???

"I'm just so busy."

"I haven't got time."

"There aren't enough hours in the day."

We ALL say it but do we really mean it.

Sometimes is it just because we don't want to do something? Sometimes is because we just want to be still?

We find time to scroll through our phones for hours. We find time to take a picture & upload to the preferred social media platform.  We find time to watch the favoured soap.


For me "I don't have time." Quite often means "I don't have the energy."  The relentless alarm beeping 5 days a week, work, pressures to keep up with household chores, admin and childcare can leave you on empty.

I've been meaning to resume exercise but haven't got time.

In truth I have got time. I usually have a gap between 4pm & 5pm. The kids have their snack & are plugged into YouTube, computer games or Lego and I get a breather before starting dinner.

I could dust off a fitness DVD but what I want to do is sit still. With a cup of tea. Maybe a biscuit or 3.

I've been meaning to read more with my son but don't have time.

You've guessed it I do but it's a chore. He's not 100% enthusiastic about having to read and it's painful enough doing his weekly homework & spellings so I haven't tried as hard as I could & set aside the extra time. We'd both rather be on my phone.

Should I feel bad? Should I manage my time better?

No.

I need some space & calm to have the energy & brainpower to get all the other stuff done. I find the winter months draining.

I know once spring arrives & the days get longer I'll find a little more time.  I'll find a little more energy.  Fingers crossed my exercise hiatus doesn't do too much damage else I'll be finding time for a weight loss group & how would I fit that in!?!

What do you think?

Emma xxx

Sunday, 1 January 2017

The Weight Debate

My recent Crohn's story has made me reflect on our attitude to weight.

I lost 2 stone 4 lbs when I was ill and was frail and anaemic.

It was a weird time and I remember marvelling at my protruding hip bones and being slightly miffed when the weight went back on and they disappeared again.

I am currently struggling with my weight.  I put on 9 lbs in 6 months and a few more have crept on over Christmas.  I feel a bit lumpy and my jeans are tight. Really the next size up is required. Leggings have become my best friend again.  I recently embarked on the 5:2 diet as a regular diet or club is not just not the thing in my current mind set.  It worked and I lost 5 lbs in 3 weeks but a week of normal eating and most of it went back on.  I'm going to see how January goes and then maybe recommence a diet class in February just so I comfortably get back in my jeans again.




I have tried many diets in the past. I know I need to eat less move more.  My weight used to steadily hoover around the same bracket. I was a comfortable 14 and had made peace with never being a 12. Recently though my weight has increased. Is it old age? My lifestyle? Metabolism?  Who knows.

I feel weight is still a taboo subject. The actual figures are rarely spoken aloud.  I think its getting harder to tell what a real woman should look like with airbrushing/filters and the now common selfies disguising the actual body shape/size.

The multitude of diets available also do not help with those seeking weight loss assistance and I find the new phase of social media guru's spouting nutritional advise concerning.  

I want to lose my weight as I'm uncomfortable at present and want to feel better in my clothes. I will never be 10 stone and I do not wish to be. I know it is unachievable for me and frankly for me would be bordering on unhealthy.  For my height I should be between 9st 5 and 11st 5.  I know from my illness 8 years ago anything in the 9 stone bracket leaves me looking unhealthy.

We all know our own bodies and lifestyles and should aim for our own comfortable weight.  Do not allow yourself to be pressured my social media. Do not beat yourself up.  Do not compare yourself to the airbrushed celebrity on the cover of your favourite magazine. We are normal people with work, families, hobbies and restrictions. 

Be healthy and be happy.

Emma xxx

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New Year New Plans

Well 2017 is here can you believe it! I have reviewed my post from last year and on the whole did well but 2 big fails!!!
  • Get fitter - Fail.  I did start the #C25K again but gave up
  • Lose Weight - BIG Fail.  I'm actually heavier this year than last.
  • Save for summer holidays - Success.  We put money aside and had a good 6 week summer holidays.  We planned 4 trips but only managed 2 but did have a mini holiday to Skegness that was not planned.  We visited Legoland and Think Tank and the kids loved both.  We didn't manage Drayton Manor or Sightseeing in London so will hopefully so that this year instead.
  • Concentrate on blog - Success.  I managed more posts, cleaned up my site and even braved YouTube.
  • Social media targets - Mostly Success. Instagram target was 1000 and now on 1417, Facebook target was 250 and now 251,Twitter target was 2500 and now 2328.
  • Recommence volunteering at children's school - Big Success.  Loved it and it has resulted in a job.
  • Me time - Mostly success.  It can be very difficult juggling things but I started Yoga a few months ago.  Its only once a week but I love it and it helps recharge my batteries and I have a quick catch up with 2 or 3 friends.


This year I want to mainly concentrate on my new job which starts on the 4th January and continue to grow my blog.  I'm hoping the new job will help me lose weight but otherwise I will recommence slimming world or weight watchers in February.

I'm hoping to continue with Yoga for some me time and must get in touch with the lady to check when it restarts after the Christmas break.

So far we have 2 holidays planned.  A few days away in the Easter half term and a week away in the summer with relatives.

I want to add stay healthy to my 2017 list and for good health for my family and friends.  My dad is currently poorly so we are getting him back up to strength but I'll elaborate on that on another post.

I want to continue to grow my social media channels and my new venture YouTube.

If you'd like to subscribe click on the link Life in the Mum's Lane YouTube Channel

What plans do you have?  Do you make resolutions?  How did 2016 go for you?

Emma xxx



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