Saturday, 22 December 2012




Silent Sunday

The end of the world

bit pissed off I wasn't a part of it to be honest..

Well.. that was a of a waste of time wasn't it!?

See you on the other side then?

Merry Christmas you BEAUTS

Much love, Misty & Family

xx

Friday, 21 December 2012

The one with the fish

Sometimes I sit and wonder, in 20 years time, what will I be doing? Not as in, will I be working for the same company, will I still be living in the same house? I mean more like.. will we still be using computers? If not, what will I be using? Will I still be on Facebook and Twitter (probably!) and will I still be interested in the same things? What comes after DVD's..?

We tend to generalise different generations. Well maybe not we, but I do. I seem to assume that everyone over the age of 60 enjoys gardening. Did they enjoy gardening when they were 20? Have they grown to love it or have they always enjoyed it?

Same with fashion. This may sound mean and also completely wrong, but a lot of old people dress the same; With their long floaty skirts and sensible blouses. Have they always enjoyed wearing these clothes? Did they always dream of growing up and having a blue rinse?

I suppose my point is, when I'm older, am I going to enjoy the stuff that the current older generation enjoy? I have never in my life took pleasure in gardening, but will that all change? Will I all of a sudden want a short perm? The very thought of having hair shorter than my shoulders fills me with dread. Am I going to start wearing button down dresses and Clarks shoes? (You know, those flat clog like things!?) As we get older, do our likes and dislikes change? Am I going to be 60 and looking over judgmentally at the Mother on the bus playing a game on her iPhone instead of playing with her daughter? (That was me by the way..)

The crazy thing is, all of these questions came from fish.

That's right. FISH.

(No, they didn't ask the questions..)

This isn't our fish, it's in a tank at our favourite store. It is EPIC.



Ross recently bought himself a tropical fish tank. He'd been banging on about getting one for months. I'd looked into getting one for his Birthday, for Christmas etc, but they were always too expensive. I didn't just have to buy a tank did I? It would be a tank, a stand, gravel, a pump, a filter, decorations, a heater. Oh and fish of course. I just didn't have the money for that. I also wasn't massively keen on the idea.

So when he recently saved up a bit of money for one and bought one secondhand from gumtree, I was sceptical. He was about to set up a ginormous water filled contraption in our living room and there was nothing I could do.

But I love it.

 

I could genuinely sit there and watch the fish swim about for hours. I know exactly how many we have, what breed they are, and whether they're male or female.

If you'd have asked me a month ago, I would have only been able to tell you the colour.

So why have I all of a sudden changed my mind? Why do I suddenly like having a fish tank? Why do I enjoy watching the fish swim around and noticing their personalities come through? Why do the colours of their tails and the decorations cheer me up?

 

Is it because I'm maturing? Have I grown up? Is a tropical fish tank something that adults like to own?

I haven't got a clue.

So many questions and absolutely no answers. Don't get me wrong, there's not a chance I would stick my hand in that tank, the thought of scales on skin makes me physically cringe. But, I will help pick which fish are going in to the tank. I think I have probably picked 90% of them so far. We have guppys, platys and mollys. We have a single angel fish and two swordtails. We even have a fighter fish.


They're just so pretty.

There, I said it. Pretty.

 

We even have babies. Our two swordtails turned out to be a male and female. Baby fish usually get eaten/killed when born in aquariums, but ours have lived. We keep finding another couple every few days. It's exciting.

 

I can't believe I just said that.

So will I like fish in 20 years time? Or will I be more into bird watching? That's very unlikely to be honest, birds detest me. 

It starts with fish, what next? You may aswell pass me my button down blouse and Nora Batty tights now..

 

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Time.. Meme and Wine!

That title is such a lie.. I don't have any wine *sob* what is this!?

Gather round my friends, the beautiful Cas over at Mummy Never Sleeps has tagged me in this Christmassy meme! Now I'm usually not very fond of meme's.. they seem to be something you use just to fill up empty space on your blog. And that's EXACTLY what I'm going to do.

Can I hear you yell BLOGGERS BLOCK!?

Cheers.

Alright, so here we go.


What is your favourite thing about Christmas?

I don't think I can pin point one thing that I love. I love all of it. I love the excitement, the festivities, the parties, the presents, the booze, the laughs and the fact we can do all of this with family. It's just fun isn't it!? I enjoy buying presents for the people I love and I even *whispers* enjoy wrapping them! I like to see peoples faces when they open their gifts to see if they really like their present or if they are in fact just pretending. Usually they love it, I'm an awesome gift buyer.

But apart from that, I love it even more now that Princess is old enough to get excited about it. This year I am thriving off of her excitement. The way her face lights up when she see's the Christmas lights or a snowman (fake obviously, I mean, where the fuck is the snow? What is mother nature playing at!?) I loved taking her to see Santa Claus even though she was terrified of him and cried.
I just know that with every year to come, each Christmas will become more special.

What is your favourite make-up look for this season?

If I'm being honest, the fresh faced look. I've gone off make-up recently unless it's necessary. For example, if Princess has kept me up half the night, then a bit of concealer and mascara might be in order, just so I don't scare away the post man. For the past few weeks though, I haven't been using anything other than water and moisturiser, and my skin feels amazing for it. I never used to leave the house without make-up, scared of what people might think. But once I realised that I wasn't in fact hideous and making innocent children cry, I quite enjoyed being sans make-up. I might get a bit dolled up on Christmas Day & Boxing Day, but I don't have any particular look.

Real or fake tree?

I have never had a real tree *waits for people to throw tomatoes*. I don't know why, it's just never appealed to me. Just the idea of actually having to, you know.. look after a tree, bores me to tears. I can't even keep grass alive, never mind a flaming tree! Also, my front room is nowhere near big enough to fit a real tree, they're far too wide.
I would like to own a real tree one day though, just so I can experience that 'christmassy' smell you're all bragging about.


Giving or receiving presents?

This changes with age. When you're younger, there's nothing better than receiving gifts. However, the older you get, the more you appreciate the satisfaction present giving brings. Seeing that look of genuine surprise and joy on their face because of something you've bought specifically for them is a feeling you just can't beat.

What's your favourite Christmas film?

Miracle on 34th Street. I absolutely love Chris Kringle, probably the best Santa, ever!
I'm also loving Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas... and I don't care who knows!

What's your favourite Christmas food?

All. Of. It.

The Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, the chocolate, sweets, party food etc. You just cannot beat Christmas for amazing comfort food. All of that meat, yummmm!


And there you have it, my Christmas meme is all complete!!

So now, because I'm feeling all festive and in a giving mood, I'm going to tag some of you beauties!

*DRUMROLL PLEASE*

I tag:

Pressies by Pebbles

My Mummys World

Kip Hakes

Enjoy x





Tuesday, 18 December 2012

T'was the week before Christmas..

..and all through the house...

Everything went tits up.

That's right. TITS UP.

But it's okay, I've sorted it now. As usual.

Because once again, the Job Centre have decided to fuck me about.

Except this time do you know what they did? They suspended my claim! Do you know why? No, neither do they.

It all started on Saturday afternoon when my landlord called to tell me that my Housing Benefit had stopped as of the 3rd of December. I know it's the Christmas Post season, but 2 weeks late.. really? Anyway, I couldn't do anything about it because obviously the council isn't open on a Saturday.

Cue massive panic.

When Monday finally rolled around, I had a phone call from the Job Centre to tell me that my Job Seekers claim had been suspended on the grounds they were awaiting 'part time work confirmation'. This is because I earned £10 doing some ironing. In future, I'm not going to fucking bother being honest, because this is what happens. Apparently they needed confirmation of the part time work that I did before they could process my claim again. I told them they already had the proof - which they did. After I'd been passed through to somebody else who confirmed they had all of the correct information, they told me to wait for a call back from someone else. Fantastic!

I eventually got around to ringing my local council and asking them what was happening about the Housing Benefit situation. They informed me that my claim had been suspended because the JOB CENTRE had been in contact with them to tell them I had a part time job.

I DID A BIT OF IRONING AND EARNED £10! ARE YOU TAKING THE PISS!?

The council couldn't do anything until the Job Centre had confirmed that this was all some huge mistake and they could sort my claim out.

The Job Centre finally rang me back and I was told that my claim was actually suspend because of my 'availability'. At this point I was now ready to actually blow my lid. They make me travel across Nottingham every fortnight to sign on which takes all of 20 minutes, and now they're suspending my claim because of availability? I have made every single appointment and they have been at least 20 minutes late each time. Now tell me who's struggling with fucking availability.

The bloke on the phone actually had no idea what was going on and couldn't answer any questions. He did however tell me that the whole problem had something to do directly with the Job Centre where I signed on. My youth Job Centre, on the other side of Nottingham.

I attempted to call my advisor who was busy so instead I spoke to a female colleague. I told her that because I hadn't yet received a single payment from them, I was unable to catch the bus to the job centre to sign on on Wednesday due to having no money. So she told me I would have to walk. I asked her if she was taking the piss. It would take me over 2 hours to walk to the Job Centre and they can fuck right off if they think that's happening. What were they going to do? Suspend my already suspended claim? Nice one Nigel.

After my advisor had kindly finished his lunch an hour and a half later, clearly ignoring the URGENT note his colleague had left for him, he returned my call.

Do you want to know what he said?

He'd made a mistake.

He'd put in the wrong code when filling in the details about the £10 I earned.

I asked him if he knew what his 'mistake' had done.

It had stopped any money I was due from the Job Centre coming through. It stopped my Housing Benefit claim, WRONGLY. It caused me complete unnecessary and unwanted panic. I was upset, I was stressed and I was worried.

All of this, the week before Christmas.

It still isn't completely sorted. I still have to check with the council that they'll be helping with our rent at the end of the month. I have to harrass the Job Centre again to ensure they are in fact sorting my claim out. (That was following advice from the Nottingham benefit centre.. I am actually having to push them to sort out their own mistake.)

The ironic thing about all of this?

I have managed to find a job before they have even given me a penny.

The Job Centre have done nothing but treat me like the scum of the earth who is just looking for an easy ride through life. They have discriminated against me and made me feel three inches tall.

But now I have a job. I start in January.

And I can't wait to tell the Job Centre exactly where to stick their fucking money.

Once they've paid me what they owe me of course.


Sunday, 16 December 2012

Advent Aunt Day 15: Making sure you ALL enjoy Christmas

Christmas is by far the most stressful time of the year.

Every single year, come December I always promise myself that next year, I will start the Christmas shopping early. I'm not the only one am I? I think we all promise ourselves this, so come December we don't have any of the added stress of present buying. However, it never quite goes to plan.

And it doesn't just stop at presents does it? There's the buying and putting up of decorations, deciding whether you will spend Christmas day with family or at home, where will you eat? What will you eat? And who will you spend it with.

I have attempted to come up with a fool proof plan to make sure that everyone can enjoy Christmas with as little stress as possible. Here goes:

1. Buy your presents early. I know, I know, it never really happens. But maybe just buy one a month? When your child, partner, family member, etc happen to mention something they like that they've seen, make a mental note and the next time you have some spare cash: pick it up. Honestly, you'll thank yourself later.

2. Don't take on the present buying yourself. For instance, don't feel pressured into buying your OH's family or your kids friends. If someone wants to buy a present for someone.. let them buy it. Even if they just make a list of what they want to buy and you make the trip yourself, at least you know what you're looking for. There's nothing worse than traipsing round shops armed with huge carrier bags. Shopping stress? What shopping stress?

3. Plan. Plan, plan, plan. Make lists, make notes, however you like to sort through the muddle that is wrapping, food shopping or turkey basting, make sure you know when you're doing it. I know that sometimes planning things down to the very last detail and taking away the spontaneity can make things boring.. but when you realise that instead of rushing about to wrap up the last of the Christmas presents, you can have a glass of wine, you'll be grateful that you did.

4. You know how when it comes to decorating the tree, you want to be that fun parent that allows their kids to help out? You want them to help put the baubles on and get wrapped up in tinsel. But then afterwards, when you turn on your twinkly lights and revel in the absolute atrocity of your uneven, patchy tree, you wish you hadn't? We've all been there. Why not buy your kids their own small trees to keep in their room? Let them decorate it as you decorate the big tree, that way they feel like they're helping, plus they get their very own Christmas tree. Also, you don't have to wait until they've gone to bed to re-do it all.

5.When you have some spare time, try and make decorations with the kids. Whether that be paper chains, bunting or letting them create their own bauble. They'll have fun doing it, it might keep them occupied, plus you'll have something special to hang on the tree.

7. Being stuck inside for long periods of time can stress us all out. We get under each others feet and we start to get cabin fever. Don't be afraid to brave the cold weather. Wrap up warm, take a trip to the park or to a childrens group. Even if you just pop over to a friends house, getting out of the same four walls can do you the world of good. It also lets the kids burn off some of that spare energy they've saved up for you!

8. Let other people help. Sometimes we can be too proud to admit we're struggling, but it doesn't help anyone. Allowing others to step in and lend a hand isn't a sign of weakness or inability to cope. In fact, you'll probably find your friends and family are more than happy to step in every now and again. Need someone to watch the kids whilst you finish off the last of your shopping? No problem, that's what Grandparents are for!

9. Following this: don't take on too much. I think we can all be guilty of not being able to just say 'No'. I for one am far too eager to please and hate letting people down. What I have learnt however, is that for the sake of my sanity, I do just have to say no. Taking on too much and agreeing to help everyone else usually leads to added stress that really isn't necessary. The odd favour here and there when you have the time to do it is absolutely fine, but agreeing to cook lunch for your friends whilst you still have a million and one things to do probably isn't the best idea.

10. Last but not least, don't forget to take time out for yourself. Have a hot bath, read a book, or maybe even just manage to finish that coffee whilst it's still hot. Remember that Christmas is about you too, not just about everyone else. I know they say that giving is far better than receiving, but treating yourself every once in a while definitely makes you feel better.

I think it's very easy to get sucked into the craziness that is Christmas. I'm not saying I don't enjoy it, because I absolutely love it. However, keeping everyone easily pleased is difficult and I think we often forget that Christmas is actually about us too. It's hard to remember that we should enjoy the running up to the big day rather than dreading it, especially in the midst of late night shopping and present wrapping.

Try to find the joy in the small things and keep in mind that Christmas is about family.. including you.



This was a guest post for BabyHuddle




Silent Sunday

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Attitude

Come on, admit it. Which one of you swapped my toddler for Damien the Omen?

No? Really..?

I am of course kidding. She's not really that bad. Most of the time.

Back in the day, I used to think that Princess couldn't get any worse. Her tantrums were astronomical, she was violent and she was nasty. But do you know what I find ten times harder to deal with?

Attitude.

Seriously Princess, at the age of 2!? Calling Mummy "stupid!" and stamping your precious little huge feet is not acceptable. Demanding that I make you a milkshake "RIGHT NOW" whilst attempting to push me towards the fridge, is quite frankly, not on.

Growling, teeth baring and scrunching up your eyebawlz in an attempt to protest is not an attractive look. You're cute babe, but you're pushing it.

I know I'm not the only Mother to deal with these trials. She's hit the Terrible Two's, that much is obvious. I just didn't expect so much bloody drama from a toddler. I mean, she's just learnt to talk, how does she even know what stupid means!?

Sometimes it's funny, but other times it's pushing me to the brink. I can ignore a tantrum or unnecessary screeching. But I can't ignore a toddler who is in my face, calling me names, making demands, smacking with force and generally being a cowbag.

That's right. I said it. I know you were all thinking it.

But it's all normal right? It'll pass? - Please say yes before I cry. *waits for sanity to return*


Then again, when I see her looking like this: fast asleep, mucky faced and quiet.. all is forgiven.

Until tomorrow.

And while I'm at it.. Come on Disney Jnr and bring out some more Doc McStuffin. It's the only bloody thing that keeps her quiet.




Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Thought of the week: Underestimation




For those of you who don't know us, or haven't seen on the blog, Princess has the most amazing curly hair. It's sandy blonde in colour with platinum highlights throughout which hang in beautiful ringlets.

Unfortunately, these ringlets only usually last a day. Once she has slept on her hair it becomes a matted mess of tangles and knots. Even worse, she hates having it brushed. We've tried detangle spray, conditioner, the works and no matter what, it always goes messy.

So we made a decision. At the age of two (which is probably long over due) Princess would have her very first hair cut.

The very thought had always filled me with dread. Not only because I was afraid that her beautiful curls would be ruined, but because Princess doesn't take well to new situations. She has never liked the Doctors - who can blame her with that cold stethoscope and those prodding fingers? And she absolutely loathed the Dentist - which I don't blame her for.

So you can imagine my anxiety at taking her to the hairdressers. The thought of having to make her sit in a chair, whilst a stranger attempted to brush and cut her hair filled me with so much angst, I almost didn't take her. To be fair, I assumed the hardest part would be to make her sit still for more than three minutes, never mind getting the brush near her head.

I spent the whole day beforehand explaining to her about what happened at the hairdressers. I told her a lady would let her sit in a special chair and look in the mirror (I appealed to her vain side - it worked.) I then told her that the lady would hold her hair and go 'snip, snip, snip' whilst doing the actions. We spent the day doing this, Princess pretending to 'snip' my hair and me hers. I encouraged her to tell people she was going to have her hair cut with scissors and when she was asked she said she was excited. At two years old I didn't expect her to fully understand but she seemed to have a pretty good grasp of what I had told her.

I still wasn't filled with confidence though. I was expecting tears, tantrums and shouts of defiance.

Imagine my surprise when my anxiety turned out to be completely unnecessary. She was amazing.

You might think I'm silly for regarding a first hair cut as 'amazing' but it's not just the fact she got her hair cut. It's because she let it be done. She was excited to get into the chair which was stacked with cushions so she could see herself in the mirror. She said "Hello" to herself and waved. She pointed to the counter and pointed out the objects she recognised: Brush, scissors, comb. 

And then she let the hairdresser brush her hair.

With an afro comb.Poor sod.

When she was eventually done with the combing, she started to seperate it. Princess sat so still, staring at herself in the mirror. The hairdresser told me she'd had quite a few toddlers fall to sleep on her because they found it so relaxing. That didn't surprise me, I love having my hair brushed/played with. Apparently, so does my girl.

Eventually it came round to the cutting. Princess actually seemed excited to see the scissors and enjoyed watching her hair falling away. Of course I saved her first curls and will keep them safe for as long as possible. My Mum still has mine!

When it was all over, Princess told herself she looked "beautiful" and told the hairdresser that "haircut my favourite". 

I couldn't have been prouder.

The moral of the story is: Never underestimate your child. Just when you think you know exactly what they'll do or how they'll react, they'll shock you.
 
Yes, I am aware you can barely tell the difference. Though she did have about 2 inches cut off the length.


Thursday, 6 December 2012

That thing that I don't have enough of..

This week alone, two of my fabulous blogger friends have posted about not having enough time.

I'm about to jump on the bandwagon.


Seriously, where does the time go? As I'm sat here typing this, I am realising I only have forty minutes until I need to leave to make a trip to the bank and take Princess to toddler group. I then have to come home, clean up and get the ironing done ready for tomorrow.

I also have to plan what to have for dinner, buy it and start making preparations. Although, if I'm being honest, I'm leaning towards frozen pizza..

Sometimes I sit down and think 'I don't understand why people complain about this Stay At Home Mum malarkey, it's EASY'. But on days like today, when I'm running around like a blue arsed fly on speed, I genuinely wish I was sat behind a desk somewhere typing out an email that I could stretch out over an entire morning. That's what you do when you work in an office right?

As well as all of this, I have been applying for jobs, signing on at the Job Centre, Christmas shopping, applying for more jobs, and trying to keep up with a toddler who is finding Christmas a little bit overwhelming.

And as if that wasn't enough, I somehow have to squeeze in a Doctors appointment so I can find out why I'm so damn tired all of the time. (Seems a bit silly now when I read this back..) I have narrowed it down to two things: Either my anemia is playing up and I need to go back on the iron tablets.. or I'm lazy. The latter is probably most true, but I'm fed up of feeling like I could just curl up in a ball and sleep at 11o'clock in the morning after I've just had a good solid 9 hour sleep.

Then there's Princess. Always Princess. Who runs around like she's just drank seven red bulls whilst simultaneously eating several packs of Haribo. She's so energetic all of the time. When she's not happy as larry and doing laps of the living room, she's throwing an all out belting, mother fucker of a tantrum and I'm left feeling spent and ready to collapse. When I'm not making trips to the supermarket or to the bank, chances are, I'm carrying a toddler over my shoulder or on my hip (which breaks my back btw, she's 3 bloody stone!)

Parenting is fun, no?

So I'm going to make myself a deal. I am going to take some time out for myself. Whether that be to read a book, write a blog post (and not hurriedly like I am now. Seriously, I can barely see my fingers!) or just browse on the internet. I will have a glass of wine in hand, phone in the other and I will enjoy a Twitter conversation like I used to.

If you don't see me for more than 3 days, send a search party. In fact don't..

Send wine.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Say NO To Scrooge

2012 is the first year that Princess can appreciate Christmas.

For her first Christmas she was just 10 weeks old and just over a year for her second. This year she is a very smart and alert two year old that could not be more excited.

However, for each and every year, we have decked our house out like Santas Grotto. I remember her tiny 10 week old face as she stared in wonder at the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree. 

 

And I remember her as a cheeky one year old, fascinated by the tinsel and baubles.


This year is no different, except she can now express her amazement at the lights and decorations. She's currently obsessed with snowmen and asks Ross and me to draw them. I have downloaded an app on my phone so I can pretend Santa Claus is ringing her to see if she's been good. All of this, just to put a smile on my girls face. And it works.

For me, Christmas is about family. Whether you have kids of your own or it's just you spending time with your family, it's what it's all about.

So I don't understand why people have to be such Scrooge's about Christmas!

Yes, October is a bit too early to start decking the halls with boughs of holly (fa la la la la, la la la la) and putting up the Christmas tree - I mean, let's get Halloween and Bonfire night out of the way first - but when it's mid November, when we only have 40 SLEEPS to go, why moan? Why ruin it for those of us who are excited for something? Especially when the reason we're excited for Christmas, is because we love our children and thrive off of their own eagerness.

YOU'RE RUINING MY CHRISTMAS SPIRIT.

Those lights in the town centres haven't been put there for the soul purpose of annoying you. Oh no. They've been put there for you to enjoy and maybe even cheer you up! Join in with the Christmas festivities. Break out the mince pies and pick funny baubles to stick on your tree. You never know, you might just crack a smile and God forbid - enjoy yourselves.





Saturday, 24 November 2012

Shock HORROR

Tonight, I am in shock.

I am sat here, with my glass of wine and I am genuinely confused.

Today, Princess had a nap.

She fell to sleep on the bus at about 2pm and didn't wake until gone 4.

And then she went to bed at 8pm.

WHAT IS GOING ON!?

I've been a parent long enough to know that miracles do NOT happen, and children do not do you 'favours'.

This is going to come back and bite me in the arse. I just know it.

So if you see me tweeting at 4am, you know exactly why.


Silent Sunday



 Silent Sunday

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Top Ten Tips for Surving Toddler-dom

Last month saw Princess see in her 2nd Birthday. She is now an official 'toddler'. She walks, she talks and she tantrums. Boy, does she tantrum.

The Terrible Two's aint got nothing on this girl.

So I devised a plan. I came up with the Top Ten Tips for surviving with a toddler. Some you may agree with, some may save your life. Stick to these rules and I promise you, your life will be much, much easier. Stick it to your fridge, pop it in your bag, just make sure you know your shit.

1. Always make sure you have a snack and juice available. These need to be to hand at. all. times. If you're at home, in the car, on the bus, you need to have your toddlers favourite snack available. It is guaranteed to give you at least a 5 minute respite from any tantrum. Whether it be an apple or chocolate buttons, they soon forget about spitting at you when they have they're gob full. Same goes with juice. All that screaming makes for a thirsty toddler. Shove beaker in mouth mid-scream = problem solved.

2. Expect the unexpected. If your toddler is behaved whilst you're driving in the car to do your weekly shop, don't be fooled. This just means you're in for it later. Probably whilst doing the shopping. Or paying for it. Or on the ride home. Either way, good behaviour is always topped with bad behaviour. And when they're leaning in with their lips all sloppy and puckered for a kiss? Be prepared for a donkey punch to the face instead. That's how they lure you in.

3. Memorise yourself with all cartoons. For example: If Princess is having a particularly bad day and it's only 1pm, I know I have at least 25 minutes until peace because Curious George starts at 1.25pm.. it makes it more bearable to know there's light at the end of the tunnel. Not that I condone using the TV as a child minder.. except I do. It also means you can mentally prepare yourself to drown out the happy 'lets be best friends' songs that undoubtedly come with your toddlers favourite cartoon. Why are they always so fucking happy...?

4. Grow eyes in the back of your head. No. Seriously. Either that or attach two wing mirrors to the side of your face so you know what's going on all. the. time. Vigilance is key. Never leave a toddler unattended, that is when shit goes down. Remember that Sudocreme you hid in a cupboard months ago buried underneath heaps of crap? Well your toddler has just found it and smeared it all over your sofa. Those felt tips you were sure you had hidden? They're now being used for toddler-style graffiti. Never take your eyes off of them. Ever.

5. Always carry baby wipes. I cannot emphasise this enough. Wipes will save your furniture, save your clothes and save your life. You can never have too many. Baby wipes should be kept on your person at all times. Wipes capture bogies so you don't have to. They wipe away chocolate covered hands so your clothes can be worn more than once - if you're lucky. And wipes are the only things that can help us during those moments that strike fear in the heart of every Mum.. nappy explosions. BABY WIPES!

6. This one is a given for any toddler - the Park. The Park is a place your toddler can go and use up every ounce of their energy whilst you watch from a distance. They can run, skip and shout without destroying anything. Sometimes they may need a helping hand, but at least it's a slide they're climbing up and not your TV unit where the TV wobbles precariously, threatening to fall off and smash to smithereens. It also means that by the time they get home, they're suitably knackered, giving you time to put your feet up and relax. No more running around for you..

7. Wine. Wine is always the answer. Make sure your fridges and cupboards are stocked with your alcoholic beverage of choice and you just might make it through the day.

8. Do not laugh. It irritates your child. And definitely do not laugh when they fall over. Other people frown upon that.

9. But DO have a sense of humour. Because if you don't laugh, you will cry. And if your toddler is anything like mine, if you cry, she hits you to make you shut up. She's beefy, so it hurts.

10. Did I mention wine?

So, there you have it. My Top Ten tops for surviving a toddler. I promise you, they most definitely all apply and all of them will help save your sanity at one point or another.

Put them to good use. Commit them to memory. They are here to help you!

Can you add any more?

Monday, 19 November 2012

Dear Job Centre

Dear Job Centre,

I visited you for the first time today. I woke up bright and early this morning (helped by Princess's super early wake up call), got dressed up in my smart interview clothes and left my house at 9.30am. I reached your building at 10.25am.

It takes me 50 minutes to travel from my house to your building by bus, including 15 minutes walking time.

This means, when I arrive at your building 5 minutes before my interview time, I do not appreciate being kept waiting until 10.50am.

I traveled across Nottingham to make this appointment. I waved my daughter off at the door, got on the bus and traveled for over half an hour and then walked the rest of the way. To be kept waiting. Four other people arrived and were taken to their advisers before I was seen. I could see several members of staff just lounging around, chatting.

I was asked to fill in a form. The questions were general, name, age, National Insurance number. Then came the question:
Who do you live with?
Options: Alone, With Parents, With Friends, With Guardian, With Family or Homeless.
 My first instinct would usually be to pick With Family.. except the 'With Family' option clearly stated (e.g Grandparents)

MY FAMILY IS MYSELF, MY PARTNER AND MY DAUGHTER.

I do not live with my parents, or my friends, nor am I homeless. I live with my family. A family that I, as a Mother, take care of, not that take care of me.

There wasn't even a 'With Partner' option. So I wrote it in BLOCK CAPITALS.

I was starting to get very annoyed.

I was also confused as to why the last adviser I spoke to informed me 'I must dress smart and treat it as a real interview'. This was not the case at all. The girl that arrived after me was wearing black leggings with zips up the side and bright turquoise sandals with gems on. That's hardly interview attire, don't you agree? So here's me, dressed all smart, looking a TWAT because clearly, no one else bothered, and for what? TO BE LATE.

What if I had plans? What if I was waiting to go to an interview? Are you going to ring them up and explain "sorry, she couldn't make your interview, she had to come to the Job Centre." No, I didn't think so. Luckily, I had no plans, but that's far beyond the point.

I was eventually taken over to my adviser, who, to be fair, was a genuinely nice bloke. But the damage had already been done. I was already pissed off.

Apparently I was carted off to this 'youth centre' because I fall between the 18-24 age category. Now I can guarantee you that there are some pissed off 24 year olds out there that are being generalised as 'youths'. I've already proven I shouldn't be at this particular centre, simply by not fitting in to your little boxes.

The thing that annoyed me the most? Do you want to know the reason why I was dragged all the way to that particular Job Centre? For an appointment card.

Yes, that's right. This new adviser didn't tell me anything that the previous adviser hadn't told me during my last interview. The only thing that was different, was he gave me an appointment card for my sign on date.

I now have to travel all the way back to this 'youth Job Centre' on Wednesday for a 10 minute conversation. I have to spend my own money - which lets be honest, I'm not fucking rolling in - to come to your building and have someone pat me on the head and tell me I'm doing the right thing.

And then every fortnight after that.

I'm sorry Job Centre, but it's just not fucking on. There is a perfectly good Job Centre within walking distance of where I live that does exactly the same as you. Oh no sorry, I am mistaken. You have college advisers at your Job Centre. College advisers which are useless to me, because as you so kindly pointed out, I am overqualified to go back to College. Cheers for that.

So overall, I am more than disappointed with my experience so far. I realise I might sound ungrateful and petty but can you blame me? You're insulting, ageist and sexist. You make me feel like shit.

I have never been more convinced to find a job.

Maybe that was your plan all along?

Sincerely,

Misty


Friday, 16 November 2012

Why I hate the Job Centre

One thing I haven't gone in to too much detail about on my blog is Ross's working situation. I have briefly mentioned he has had to give up his job without really explaining why.

Basically, he was being bullied in work. He was signed off sick with 'work related stress' by the Doctor because of this bullying. He was put on to Beta Blockers to help with his anxiety and palpitations, also sleeping tablets and very nearly anti-depressants. He would suffer panic attacks on his way to work.

Ross followed the correct route and raised a grievance with his boss. The person who was bullying him was his Kitchen Manager, so he had to go above her, which was to the Headmaster of the school. Emails and letters were passed about, Ross was slagged off and was told he was useless at his job. Eventually we decided enough was enough. He'd had six weeks off work, statutory sick pay wasn't enough to survive on, so he decided to hand in his notice. We contacted the Job Centre and was told as soon as his notice was over, which was Monday, we could apply for Job Seekers Allowance.

So, on Monday, I filled in the online form, sent it off and promptly received a text message confirming my appointment for the next day. I was told to bring I.D for both myself and Ross, as well as any proof of work. Baring in mind we obviously decided to go for a joint claim - I have made the decision to go back to work part time, whilst he has been looking for a full time job.

We made our way to our local Job Centre and I was quickly called over to a lady at a desk whilst Ross was told to take a seat. A bit odd I thought, considering we were told we both needed to attend, but I ignored it. Two minutes into the conversation I realised she was only registering me alone, for the Job Seekers Allowance.

"But it's for a joint claim," I told her.

"Are you a parent?" She asked.

"Yessss..."

"Well then you can't apply for a joint claim. That would imply you were both looking for work."

"Well we are.."

"Yes, but you would have to be looking for full time work. Even if you only got part time. You can't both look for full time, you have a child."

"There is such a thing as Childcare..."

"That's not what we're applying for."

I was incredulous. I was sat here being told that because Ross and I have a child together, only one of us could work because clearly, the other one had to stay at home and look after Princess.

"But we both want to look for work," I tried again.

"Well really your partner should be the one signing on whilst you stay and look after your child."

Woah, woah woah.

Did she really just go there? Yes, yes she did.

So it would appear the Job Centre is sexist.

Apparently, I am meant to stay at home, whilst Ross goes and signs on and looks for work. I have done that for the past 2 years and have finally decided I would like a Part Time job. Is that against the law?

Eventually I just shook my head and nodded at her to carry on. She asks me what type of work I've been looking for and what I think is best suited to my abilities. I tell her I have been looking for retail, admin and cleaning work. Anything I can find that I know I can do.

She types in retail and adds it to the list.
She types in cleaning and adds it to the list.
She then types in 'recepcion' and adds it to the list. I then have to correct her.

I never, ever make a point of telling people I'm a good speller. People often ask me to spell things for them, but I don't ever brag about it. But when I'm sat across from this woman, desperate for a job and I'm watching her tap away at the keys with ridiculously long fake nails that she cannot type with, and spelling words wrong.. I began to lose faith. I know that makes me sound really pig-headed, but it makes you wonder.

After she had thanked me for my correction, I sighed and nodded at her to continue.

She asks me to list my qualifications and previous job experience.

She prints it all off and I sign a few forms.

She hands me over leaflets and tells me that because of my age, I have to attend a 'special youth centre' to help me gain 'tips and tricks' to help me find a job. It is a centre that is aiming to get 'the youth of today, back into work!'

I stared at her open mouthed.

I do realise that at the age of 23 I am still considerably young and by no means old. But I am not a youth. I worked from the age of 17, was promoted, had a baby, raised said baby and have ran a home in the space of 6 years. If I still lived at home and went out every weekend getting drunk, then fair enough, I still have a level of youth in me. But I don't, and I haven't done for 3 years. I have my own family now, I am an adult.. not a youth.

I was offended.

On top of this, the special 'youth centre' I have to attend, is on the other side of the City.



I have to get dressed up in my 'interview gear' and head on down for a fake interview that will last approximately ten minutes. After getting off my bus, it will take me at least 20 minutes to walk there.

Basically, I had a very bad experience of the Job Centre. Some people probably think I have taken it too personally or have been offended for the wrong reasons. What you have to understand is my family currently has no income. I am stressed, upset and tired of fighting to keep our heads above water. 

All of this hassle ladies and gents, is for £71 a week. Which myself and my family are expected to live on. To pay bills on. To pay rent with - because yes, I still have to pay some rent.

I know I shouldn't complain. There are people out there far worse off than me, and I am getting some sort of help. But I just don't agree with it. For a country that is apparently hell-bent on getting people back  in to work, especially stay at home Mums, they have a funny way of showing it.

Why can't a Mum and a Dad both look for work?

Why can't a Mum go to work and the Dad stay home and look after the baby?

Why, at the age of 23 are you treated like a child?

You will have to ask the Job Centre.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The one with the Christmas shopping..

I remember when Christmas shopping used to fill me with excitement. All year round my Grandparents would save all of their spare change in an old whiskey jar, and at the beginning of December they'd let me count it all up and whatever was in there I could use for Christmas presents.

There was usually only about £30 saved, but at the age of 7/8, that seemed like an awful lot. They'd take me to the market at Burton-on-Trent and I'd buy everyones Christmas presents in one go.

These days, it's not quite that simple.

This year I have opted for online Christmas shopping. I just don't have the time or the energy to go fighting through all of the other angry shoppers in the town centre, queue for hours or stand and try to make a decision. I don't want to run from shop to shop comparing prices and I don't want the bus ride there and back armed with a shit load of shopping bags,

It was fun when all I had to do was point to the shop I wanted, pick what I wanted to buy and have somebody else queue, pay and carry my items.

So I thought, HEY, why don't I try this online malarky.. you know.. just click and it's in my basket. Press 'go to checkout' and VOILA I enter in some card details and my shopping is done. I don't even have to leave the couch.

So why am I finding it so fucking stressful?

Picture Credit

Example one: First website gives a certain payment option. I choose my items (which took me about a week), continue to the checkout to be told I can't use this payment option. Thank you VERY much.

Example two: I change website (after telling previous website how shit they are) and pick out more of my items. All of a sudden, I'm chuffed. This website is much cheaper and has my selected payment option. I finally have everything I need - minus one present - and suddenly, items are disappearing from my basket. Where are they going? Is this virtual supermarket theft? No, I'll tell you where they went. OUT OF STOCK.

I'm not having very much luck at all. I know what I want to buy, but nowhere will let me buy it. I can guarantee you if I were to pop to Argos tomorrow, I could be in and out within ten minutes.

But I'm not going to give in. No I'm not. I'm gonna substitute Princess's Mickey Mouse robot for something else. I'm not quite sure what yet.

I'm also not used to not actually being physically able to see the items. Being able to press a button and see how well it works, what it does. Half of the toys don't have reviews, so I'm sort of buying blindly. Also, online shopping is full of everything so you can never find anything specific, y'know?

Like, I'm looking through 'Gifts For Him' and it's telling me to buy Nandos sauce dispensers. Really? Nearly 4 years together and you want me to buy him condiment holders? No thank you. Bum & Face soap? A miniature bottle of Jack Daniels?

Everything seems so impersonal and a bit gag-like. I want to buy something he would love and so far I'm coming up empty handed. Gag presents are all well and good considering you have a decent present to make up for the shitness that is a 'Chilli Oil Trio'.
I'm gonna persevere with online Christmas shopping because I really, really don't want to have to venture into all those crowded shops. I'd much rather cuddle up on the sofa with a packet of crisps and browse endlessly through gifts that have been chosen for me.

And if they take anything out of my basket again.. I'm going to the police.

Monday, 12 November 2012

A long overdue day off

On Saturday I was invited round to my friends house for a 'Twilight marathon'. Basically, we would spend all day watching the Twilight films back to back.

She also invited round a few of her other friends too. Some from work and neighbours, I was the only person who didn't know anybody else there - minus the host obviously.

I have to admit, it was the nicest afternoon I'd had in a long while.

 

All four of the films make up for over 8 hours worth of viewing time. I think we watched the first 2 and a half films before the wine and chatter took over the afternoon.

It was so nice to finally be in a room filled with adults without any interruption. Usually I only have to look slightly busy and I'm met with waves of "Mummy.. Mummy.. Mummy.." Or shouts and demands. This was over 8 hours of adult conversation, food, wine, vampires and werewolves.. What wasn't to love?

By 6pm, myself and a few others were slightly tipsy. We had been there the longest and the wine had been opened around midday - what did we expect?

Overall, it was a laugh. I hadn't felt so involved and more myself in a long, long time. I am always a Mum first, but on Saturday I got to be myself.

It was also liberating being in a room of 95% strangers and actually still have a good time. Turns out I'm not a repulsive person who nobody wants to talk to, which is how I feel majority of the time.

If an opportunity like Saturday ever rears itself again, I will be snapping it up like a shot. I love Princess, more than life itself.. But it's nice to not have to worry about anyone but myself. 

Even if it was just for 10hours..

And now of course, I am beyond excited for the final installment on Friday! Who else is going to see it?




Friday, 9 November 2012

Saturday is Caption Day! #SatCap

That's right ladies and gents, it's Saturday! That means I produce the picture, and your fabulous selves get to caption it!

Princess was given a pair of goggles by her Nana and she is now in love with them!

 

Can you guys come up with a caption for this cheeky picture?




Saturday Is Caption Day

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Gender Stereotyping.. Who Cares?

I want to get one thing out in the open straight away.

I hate the judgement that people pass over what colours parents choose to dress their children or buy toys in.

For example: A woman is pregnant. She finds out it's a girl. She buys lots of pink vests, sleepsuits, bottles, etc. People will then pass comments about how it's wrong to dress a girl in all pink. It's gender stereotyping. You're damaging your child this way.

How the fuck did you come to that conclusion!?

I don't understand how, by dressing my girl in a pink dress, I am damaging her. I'm messing her up psychologically. Or how it's anyone else business.

For Christmas, I plan on buying Princess a tool kit. Do you know why? Because she likes to play with tools. She likes to pretend to 'fix' her Daddys bike and play that she's mending things. How is that any different to me also buying her a dolls pushchair? Because she also likes to pretend she's a Mummy too.

So by encouraging my girl to play with tools which are typically meant for boys, I'm doing the right thing. But by buying her a dolls pram I'm enforcing the fact that she 'should' play with dolls because it will be her role later on in life.

No.

I will buy her tools because she likes to play with them, and I will buy her a pram because she likes to play with them too. I'm not buying her a dolls pram just because she's a girl.

Fixing Daddys bike
I also don't dress her in pink just because she's a girl. I happen to actually like the colour pink. I like it on girls and I like it on boys. Ross's nephews quite often wear pink t-shirts, and do you know what? They look ace in them.

So what should I do? Should I be coerced into non conformity and dress my girl in jeans and a t-shirt? Because guess what? I do that too.

You'll probably reel at the thought of Princess having a pink pushchair. She did and it was beautiful. I didn't buy it just because she was a girl, I bought it because I loved it. It's true, that if I'd have had a boy I probably would've bought the blue version, but what does it matter? I personally like the colour pink. So whilst I actually have the option to choose what my daughter wears, I shall dress her in things that I like. When she's old enough to make the decision herself, I will let her. (Within reason, obv)

You ask Princess what her favourite colour is and she will say/point to something blue. She will grab a brush and pretend to sweep. Sometimes she pretends to feed her dolls and other times she will play wrestling with us.

Is my parenting wrong because I bought her a pink guitar & piano?
I absolutely hate that people judge me because I dress my daughter in pink. What does it fucking matter? I am not forcing her to do anything she doesn't want to do. If she wanted to pick her own clothes, I'd bloody well let her. If she grows up and wants to wear tracksuits and climb tree's, then that's what she'll do.

Please explain to me how by dressing her in God forbid.. a pink frilly dress with glittery shoes, am I forcing her to be a certain way?

I believe that how you interact with your child is what forms their mind and their gender. If you don't allow your girl to play with cars and tools and only allow dolls and kitchenette sets, then yes, you're reinforcing it.If you don't allow her to climb trees and get dirty like her male peers then once again, it's reinforcement.

However, playing pretend 'mechanics' with your daughter whilst simultaneously feeding a doll is just pure fun!

Just because I dress my daughter in pink and I chose purple in her bedroom instead of blue does not mean I am gender stereotyping her. She can be whatever she wants to be and I will support her 110%! People need to stop judging others by what they think is right (and wrong) and just accept that sometimes girls wear pink because they like it and not because they were forced.

I admit, if I had had a boy, he would probably wear blue. But my point is, by actually conforming to gender stereotypes at such a young age, I don't understand what sort of 'damage' I am doing. When she's old enough to make her own choices, I won't force her to wear pink because that's what girls 'should' wear. She can wear whatever colour she likes. 


 Where do you stand on gender stereotyping? Are you like me - not bothered, I like the colours, who cares? Or are you the sort who purposely dresses their girls non-girly just to make a point?

Oh and here's a little snippet of information for you... While both mothersand fathers contribute to the gender stereotyping of their children, fathershave been found to reinforce gender stereotypes more often than mothers(Ruble, 1988).




Monday, 5 November 2012

Anonymity

Anonymity. I can't even pronounce it. It's a really hard word to say.

(In my head I pronounce it "an-on-ny-no-mi-nity" - Seriously)

I was having a chat with someone the other day who was quite surprised that my blog is public knowledge in my personal life. I was surprised that they thought this was odd.

I mean, why shouldn't they know I write a blog? They all feature in it. Surely it would be rude for me to write about the people in my life without making them aware of it?

I would never write anything that I think would offend or embarrass them. In fact I have a blog post I'm not sure about publishing in case it's too personal so I'm going to ask their opinion first. In my opinion it's common decency. However, in a sense it does limit what I write about.

The past 2 weeks I have really struggled for material for my blog. I don't know if it's because I haven't done anything exciting or because I'm suffering writers block. I do know however, that if my blog was anonymous, I would have a lot more to write about. I could give my opinions on things without offending people I know personally. It would give me a space to air my own opinions without causing an argument.

I have been toying with the idea of starting another blog - anonymously.

But then I think, why should I? If the things I want to post are offensive or embarrassing then I shouldn't post them irregardless of whether it's anonymous or not. I'm just not that sort of person.

Nothing I have posted on my blog could get me in trouble. Nobody is going to search it and find something incriminating about somebody else. I don't even have to worry about Princess because I don't post her name. I know that those of you on my Twitter know her name, but I know that nobody in her school 10 years from now is going to Google her and find embarrassing information on there. And they won't on here either. When Princess is old enough to understand, I will tell her about my blog. I will allow her to read it, and if she wants, I will probably allow her to write on it too. If she wants to stay anonymous, that's then her decision.

I'm conflicted with the idea of anonymity. I think being anonymous can be great, especially if you're the sort of person who has lots of opinions but don't want to be personally linked to them. I do find myself asking the same question though. If you are not open and honest about your blog, then what is it you are hiding? I'm not saying that because you don't flaunt your blog to your friends then you're a criminal, it's just that surely there is a reason behind not telling them?

Blogs are our own little space on the internet. It's like a little garden that we can grow and create how we please, one that we can tend to and prune. I am proud of my blog, I am. I also have family members who are proud of me, because of my blog. There is no better feeling than that.

I recently made the decision to post my blog on my personal Facebook page. I have a separate page for my actual blog updates, but I thought if I advertised on my personal page, then all of my other friends could also see it. I toyed with the idea for ages, I wasn't sure if it would be a good thing or bad thing. But then I realised I have nothing to hide. All opinions and musings on here are my own. I haven't stolen them and I haven't insulted anyone. Since I did this, I have had nothing but praise.

It feels uplifting to have people I know personally give me compliments on my writing and design. I love that people I don't speak to often can relate to something I've written.

If I were to stay anonymous, I wouldn't have any of that. My blog doesn't have a massive following, I don't have 1000's of Twitter followers. But it doesn't matter to me, because I know my friends and family are proud.

At the end of the day, I write my blog for me. If other people choose to read it, that's amazing. I appreciate every single one of you. I'm not going to hide behind a pseudonym and spout opinions about people I know or share other peoples stories just because nobody knows who I am.

I can honestly say that what you see is what you get. I'm not pretending to be somebody I'm not which is something that can be easily done when you're anonymous. If I were spouting bullshit on here, somebody would call me up on it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, even though my posts can be limited and my topic range varied, I'm glad that I'm Misty.. Seriously.

Do you see what I did there? Do ya!?

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Her Fearful Symmetry - Audrey Niffenegger: Book Review

This week I have been reading Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, the number one bestselling author of The Time Travellers Wife. After reading her previous book - which is now a movie adaptation - I had really high hopes for this book.


The story starts in london with Elspeth and her lover Robert. Elspeth sadly dies of leukemia, leaving Robert with her diaries, and her estate is left to her twin nieces who live in Chicago, whom she has never met.
The nieces are given Elspeths apartment in London on the grounds that they are to live there for a year before moving and/or selling and that their Mother - Elspeths twin sister Edie - never sets foot in the apartment.

Elspeths lover, Robert, lives below the apartment, and Martin, an obsessive compulsive whose wife has just left him, lives above.

The main story revolves around the twins - Valentina and Julia - and their relationship. Valentina is more reserved whilst Julia is quite clearly the dominant twin. Valentina has situs invertus, a condition which means all of her organs are on the opposite side of her body, including her heart. She has asthma and often gets ill whereas Julia never does. This means that Julia often has to care for Valentina, even when Valentina wished she wouldn't.We get to read about their relationship together, and how they feel when they're apart. Julia stops her sister doing things she wants to do, and even goes as far as to smoke around her just because she knows her sister doesn't like it, to show that she is in control.

Throughout the book different relationships are formed. Valentina ends up falling for Robert whilst Julia strikes up a friendship with Martin the obsessive compulsive upstairs. All of them have their own small stories to tell whilst they are all caught up in their own problems. Robert continues to struggle with his loss of Elspeth, whilst Martin has to deal with the departure of his wife.

Eventually, a ghost story begins to appear. It seems that Elspeth is stuck in the twins apartment and is unable to get out. She manages to communicate with them by writing in dust. This then leads to a strange sort of relationship between Valentina and Elspeth. They spend a lot of time communicating but Elspeth still won't tell them her secret. Why she won't let her sister come into the apartment.

There are two twists near the end. One regarding Valentina and Elspeth - a huge misunderstanding which leads to something deadly. We also get to find out Elspeths secret - but nobody knows but Robert.

I can't tell you any thing else about the twists, or the ending of the book without giving the climax away.

It's not usually a book I would read, but I had previously enjoyed the science fiction in The Time Travellers Wife so assumed I would this too. Some parts I found quite dull, especially the scenes in the cemetary. Ironically, they're probably the most important parts of the book, but they weren't something I could personally relate to. I don't find cemeteries interesting so I would find myself reading faster through those parts.

I didn't find all of the characters and their relationships believable either. Any young 21 year old girl could make friends with a middle aged obsessive compulsive, but to think of him romantically in any sense - especially as is described in the book - isn't realistic to me. Neither was Robert and Valentinas friendship.

Despite this, I still enjoyed the story. I was compelled to read on from the very first chapter, eager to find out the secret. I also wanted to see what would happen with the twins and how they would progress in London, far away from their own parents.

The supernatural aspect was also appealing to me. I have always enjoyed ghost stories and even though this one wasn't intended to be scary, it made for enjoyable reading. I especially enjoyed the introduction of 'The Kitten of Death' and it's untimely departure.

Overall I would recommend this book to people who enjoy science fiction, ghost stories or anything related to the paranormal. Also if you enjoyed Niffeneggers previous novel, you will probably like this one too.

If you're an avid chick-lit fan, it's definitely not for you.


BOOKLOVEBADGE

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween!

 
Today is Princess's cousins 3rd Birthday. We've been to his party tonight which was of course, Halloween themed.

We weren't looking forward to it to begin with due to Princess's phobia of all things spooky, but she seemed to cope fine. 

We were met with a Frankenstein cutout on the front door which she immediately said was scary. It took us a while to coax her into the kitchen where the rest of the decorations were but after a while she finally settled down.

The only things she didn't like were the scary masks - which truth be told, I don't like either - and a rather large pretend spider. She liked the little spiders and played with them quite happily but screamed her poor little head off when she spotted the big one.

When the rest of the kids arrived, along with the Birthday Boy, he set about opening his presents. Of course after seeing that he had got the new Gadget Robot, Princess was in there. She spent the majority of the night playing with it.

It was a great night. There was food, laughs and even fireworks! Everyone loves hotdogs, jacket potatoes and mushy peas. (minus the mushy peas for me - yuergh!)

The kids went out trick-or-treating for a bit, all of them in there costumes. Regan was a werewolf, Millie-Jayne a with and Tyler a devil! Princess didn't go out trick-or-treating but we didn't want to risk her bumping into other kids with masks on, or someone answering the door with one on - like Ross did. She didn't want to dress up either so we left her to it.

For some unknown reason I was a complete fool and took absolutely no pictures, apart from one of Princess with a sparkler! It was a first for her though so the camera immediately came out. I didn't even think about anything else, not even the fireworks. Shame really because they were really good. Tyler the Birthday Boy had requested them especially and kept shouting for "MORE ROCKETS!" Princess wasn't a fan, but she's only 2 and they were very loud.


So that was our evening. I'm now ready to curl up with a book ready for Fridays review linky over at Catch A Single Thought.

What did you do this Halloween?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

See It. Snap It. Love It

The theme for this weeks See It. Snap It. Love It is Smiles. Now there's nothing more my girl loves to do than smile. Honestly, it's not often that she isn't giggling or smiling about something and I absolutely adore that about her. 

What I adore more, is the smile she has in this picture..


She just looks so happy. Something has clearly amused her - probably me judging that I'm in the picture too! She likes to look at herself - who can blame her, she's just so damn cute - so I often reverse the iPhone camera so she can look at herself. When I do, I get cracking pictures like this one.

I also have the most hilarious videos too, but that's a whole other blog post.

I'm linking up with Lucy over at Dear Beautiful