Tuesday, 26 February 2013

BritMums Live 2013 - Sponsorship Plea!

If you are a parent blogger and are an avid twitter user, then you will probably have heard of BritMums Live! If you haven't.. where have you been?


BritMums Live is a huge 2 day social networking event that takes place each year. It is a place where blogger and social influences alike can gather and socialise, network and learn something new!

BritMums itself is a community of over 4200 influential bloggers who write about a range of topics, including but not limited to: parenting, fashion, food and crafting! That's a lot of influence!

During the event we will be attending lectures, designed to enhance and develop our networking skills, increasing our influence across our social media networks.
Britmums promises to be an exciting and fun event with social networking at its core.


And here's the thing. I really want to go.


And if you know me.. you'll know I'm not exactly the worlds most well-off and most organised person. That's where you guys, you know.. YOU come in.


In order to attend BritMums Live! I will need a sponsor. Someone who is willing for me to attend the event in their honour.

 When: Friday June 21 and Saturday June 22
Where: The Brewery, London EC1Y 4SD


I would absolutely love to attend this event but unfortunately cannot do so without a sponsor. I am hopefully looking for a sponsor who would be willing to cover the cost of my ticket (£80.00) my accommodation (I'm not fussy, a Travelodge will do ;)!) and my transport to and from the event. If you are willing to be that amazing company that decides I am worthy enough of attending AND bringing them some goodwill and so forth, then in exchange for your sponsorship, I will help promote and advertise your company in the following ways:
  • I will place a badge/advert on my blog including a welcoming post for you as my sponsor. The badge will be displayed for 12 months and will also have a direct link to your site.
  • I will hand out business cards at the end event that will clearly display you as my sponsor. And probably brag all about you because y'know.. you sponsored me.
  • Any competitions/reviews that you would require, I will write because I would owe you one.
  • Once I have received sponsorship, I will gladly tweet about you before, during and after the event. Because you are AWESOME.
  • Along with tweeting about your company/brand, I will also use other social networking platforms such as Facebook, G+ and possibly Instagram to share your amazingness!
  • If you have a badge/sticker/banner that you would like me to wear during the event in your honour.. I would SO do that. In respect.
Unfortunately, I cannot wear any outfit or costume or distribute any of your beautiful products at the event, but I can brag about them until my hearts content. All of the above will be carried out over the following 12 months after I have received sponsorship.


I would like to work with a child friendly company because it would be more relevant to my blog. I will also be able to brag about you better if me and my family can associate with you!


If you feel like this description matches you and your company, then please get in touch at misty.srsly@hotmail.co.uk or contact me via twitter @mistysrsly


I hope that you can find it in your heart to sponsor me. I may be begging a little bit here, but.. you don't ask you don't get.


WOO BRITMUMS!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

A Good Nights Sleep?

At the age of nearly 2 and a half, 29 months to be exact, you would have thought that Princess would have some sort of sleep routine.

You'd think wrong.

Every couple of weeks or so, her bedtime routine will be thrown completely out of the window, only to be taken over by something else.

A few weeks ago, it would mean falling to sleep in Mummy & Daddys bed and then being transferred to her own bed when we came up.

Now however, she is asking to go to bed to watch Peter Pan. It's lovely, it really is. I love that her new favourite film is my all time favourite film. I love that she likes to fall to sleep to it and I love that her new favourite character is Tinkerbell.

What I don't love, is her new found love of early morning wake up calls.

These aren't just any wake up calls, oh no. These are 'Mummy, it's 4am and I want to play so get your ass out of bed and MAKE ME BREAKFAST!' kind of wake up calls. In all fairness, she's never said that, but I know she's thinking it. The same way I knew what she was thinking at 3.30am this morning when I caught her tipping juice on to my iphone.

The night before (well I should say morning) she woke up just before 5am, and did not go back to sleep. This was on a morning when I had work. By the time 7o'clock rolled around, and I'd put her back to bed fifteen times, she'd drifted back off to sleep. Typical. I however, had to get ready for work.

It's safe to say the past 2 days I have been walking round in a bit of a daze. Having no choice but to go to work, I sit at my desk fighting to keeps my eyes open.

I think she's gotten herself into an awful routine, which means that when she goes to bed at 6.30pm (which is very early by her standards) by 4am, she's had enough sleep and is then ready to wake up. However, because of the early morning wake up, she's going to bed earlier.

VICIOUS CIRCLE.

I've kept her up until 7.30pm tonight so I can only cross my fingers that she will stay in bed till 7.30am. She's never been a good sleeper, she obviously has far better things to be doing.

I however, adore my sleep and need much more of it. I don't remember the last time I slept past 9am. A lie in, what's that?

Here's hoping that tonight is a much better night.

I'm a big, big girl..


I'm a big, big girl
In a big, big world
It's not a big, big thing
If you leave me
But I do, do feel
That I do, do will
Miss you much...
Miss you much

I can see the first leaves falling
It's all yellow and nice
It's so very cold outside
Like the way I'm feeling inside

I'm a big, big girl
In a big, big world
It's not a big, big thing
If you leave me
But I do, do feel
That I do, do will
Miss you much

Outside it's now raining
And tears are falling from my eyes
Why did it have to happen
Why did it all have to end
I'm a big, big girl
In a big, big world
It's not a big, big thing
If you leave me
But I do, do feel
That I do, do will
Miss you much

I have your arms around me
Warm like fire
But when I open my eyes
Your gone


I know this was one of your favourites

Happy Birthday Gma, I love and miss you lots xxx


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Did Peter Pan get it wrong?

I remember the very first time I watched Peter Pan. I was about 7 years old and I was at my Grandma's house. My cousin was staying for the weekend too and she had bought down some videos for us to watch. Along with Peter Pan, it was the first time I had ever watched The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pocahontas.

Peter Pan was the one that stayed with me though. I remember coming home that Sunday night and writing a note to Peter Pan. I asked him to come and take me away with him to Neverland so I could read stories to the Lost Boys. I put it in my window and never told a soul. Needless to say, Peter Pan never took me to Neverland and I was devastated that it wasn't true. 


The only reason I wanted to go away to Neverland was because I didn't want things to change. I wanted my life the way it was and the people in it, to stay the same. I was happy.

We all know that Peter Pan was the boy who never grew up. Do I wish I had never grown up?

Sometimes.

If I was still that 7 year old girl, I would never have had to deal with heartache, grief, loss and depression. I wouldn't have had to deal with body issues and self doubt. I would never have had to deal with the devastation of losing my Gma, one of the most important people in my life .

Of course, not growing up doesn't mean the world stands still. Everything else around you still changes. Without growing up, you're just left with a whole different world and absolutely no knowledge on how to deal with it. There would be no experience or forewarning that something massive was about to change.

I hate bills. I hate money. Sometimes I even hate responsibility. I miss being carefree. I miss having worrying about what I'm going to take in for 'Show & Tell' be the biggest stress in my life. I miss other people taking the fall for me and sorting out what I'm having for dinner. I miss being a child.
I was going to say little, but let's be honest.. nothing has changed there.

I think what I miss the most is not having to deal with death. As it draws closer to my Grandma's birthday and hitting the 3 years since she's been gone mark, I always find myself reminiscing. She was a massive part of my life and missing her is an emotion I've become accustomed to. I won't lie, it's easier now. She doesn't fill every waking moment of my day, but she's always there. In a memory or in the way I recall something. Even the way I speak. (It's 'isn't it, not innit!')

If I were still young, what would be my memories? Would I hurt the same way I do now? Or would I forget?

I think I would rather remember.

 

It hurts, but now it hurts in a good way. I can look back and smile without feeling guilty. I can look at her picture without crying.

Dealing with loss is probably the worst part about growing up. Whether that's loss of a friendship or the death of a family member, either one is tough to deal with.

But Peter Pan lost Wendy. He had no parents. And he had no one to love, or be loved by.

Except maybe Tinkerbell. But let's face it.. she's a bitch.

Maybe Peter Pan got it wrong.


 "When there's a smile in your heart
There's no better time to start
Think of all the joy you'll find
When you leave the world behind
And bid your cares goodbye..
You can fly"

 

Jill Mansell - Dont Want To Miss A Thing: Book Review

If you are a regular reader of any of my book reviews, then you will know that I am no stranger to Jill Mansell novels. To put it simply; I love them!

When I was asked if I would like to review her new novel: Don't Want To Miss A Thing, I jumped at the chance.


The story starts in London, with Dex meeting his newborn niece Delphi after his sister Laura gives birth. Dex is a fun loving, smooth operator who loves his care free and lady-filled life. And there are a fair few ladies..

That is until his sister, Laura, dies unexpectedly and he learns that she wants him as Delphi's main carer.

Molly is soon introduced as the leading lady, a character that all of us as women can identify with. She's funny, caring and modest. And Dex's new next door neighbor. Dex meets her when moving down from London to Briarwood, a world very different from the one he knows. A world where he plans to raise Delphi.

True to form, Mansell incorporates plenty of twists and turns along the way, funny anecdotes that prevent the leading couple from actually being together. These include a so-called barren GP and an ultra-boring architect!

The story also includes plenty of amusing and oh-so-real baby traits from Delphi! From being ever so cute to those all too familiar nappy explosions in public. Dex also experiences those parental doubts that we all face on a regular basis. Am I good enough?

The story is warm, funny and smart. It avoids the usual backdrop of a normal chick-lit and instead explores ordinary situations in a completely fascinating way. Mansell tells the story in a way that is hilarious but at the same time uplifting and believable.

Once again, I give Jill Mansell a 10/10. I couldn't have enjoyed the book more if I tried. As I told her myself, I have written this review without any notes because it was far too good to put down to make any. I read all 420 in the space of 24 hours.

It also helps that she is absolutely lovely on Twitter!

If you would like to purchase Don't Want To Miss A Thing, you can do so here: Jill Mansell - Amazon or visit www.jillmansell.co.uk

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The MAD Blog Awards 2013

Last year, just 3 weeks after I started my own blog, an event came about called The MAD Blog Awards 2012. I hadn't a clue what they were, which was to be expected, I didn't even know there was a blogging community! A few months down the line after spotting the MAD Blog winner badges on a few of my favourite blogs, I did a little research and found out that the MAD Blog Awards are a chance for people like me - bloggers and such alike - can be nominated to win an award for their blog.

Ever since the nominations started for the MAD blog awards this year, I have been browsing through all of the posts, either asking or thanking people for nominations.

And I've been secretly jealous.

I watched the first weeks nominations go up, and after a glance, noticed I wasn't there.

Cue a big sigh. An expected sigh, but a big one none the less.

You see, my little blog here.. my little slice of internet cake, I'm very proud of it. It may be small, but it's mine and I love it. Having someone else notice it is an achievement in itself, but having a nomination would mean that.. y'know.. I had readers.

Yesterday the second week of nominations went up.

AND I'M ON IT.

THREE TIMES.

Queue me doing an excited piggish squeal at work! Of course I couldn't share my news with the girls as I don't think any of them know about this blog and it would be nice for at least some people I know not to read it. In case I want to talk about them, obvs.

Suppose I could have asked for votes though.. *ahem*

So far, I have been nominated in categories: Best Family Life, Best Writer and BLOG OF THE YEAR! Of all ruddy things!

In reality, I know receiving a nomination is as far as it will go. My little slice of the internet is far too small and unknown as to receive hundreds of votes - I don't even have that many followers! But as cheesy as it sounds, just being up there among so many amazing and talented writers, is an honour in itself.

(I just spelt honour as onner, and now I want to shoot myself. I'm tired and hyped up on sugary pancakes at the same time, OKAY!?)

HOWEVER, if you do wish to vote for me, because well.. I am awesome, you can do so here: The MADs
or click on the badge below!

You have to choose a Blog of the Year before you can go through to categories, but obviously that's your choice *cough* ME *cough* Only kidding.. maybe. I'm not.

I honestly didn't think I'd be joining in at all with the MADs, but I'm so glad that I can be involved. It is an honour to be nominated and whichever one of you voted for me, YOU ARE A LEGEND. I love you all!

It would be wrong to bribe people for nominations with cake, right? Okay..

MAD Blog Awards

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Lucky

It's been so long since I blogged, I thought I should do a little update. Well, I say little, I'll probably ramble on like usual, but that's life.

I feel like I've been working so much that there just isn't time to catch a break. I come home, spend time with Princess and by the time I've had my dinner or been to the gym, I just want to sit down and relax. Recently I've taken to falling to sleep on the sofa whilst watching Criminal Minds online. I'm living the high life, what can I say.

 

I finally received my consultant number at work. This means that I've finally been able to take the exams that enable me to sell holidays! Starting from the Monday just gone, I've finally been fully qualified!

 

And since then, I've gone on to sell five holidays.

FIVE!

I'll fully admit, 4 of them were with the help of the other girls. Unlike them, I don't know where every country/city/hotel is located, and Geography is most definitely not my strong point. Probably should have thought about that first.. But the last holiday I sold on Saturday closing time.. I did that by myself. From start to finish.

It's a very satisfying feeling when you know you've finally done something. You finally get it.

I've got a long way to go yet, don't get me wrong. But like with everything, there's a learning curve. Every customer and every sale is an opportunity for me to learn more, and I'm embracing that rather than shying away from it. It would be so easy to avoid learning anything, but I refuse to sit there and be a potato. Practise makes perfect and all that.

 

I don't feel any better about separating my work life from home life. I can't even really explain it, but I sort of feel disconnected. Like when I'm at home, it's just a countdown until my next shift. I have 3 days off a week, which is more than a lot of others, but it doesn't feel like long enough. My days shoot by and before I know it, I'm tucking Princess up in bed and I'm getting an early night so I can be up bright and early. It's only just been over a month so I'm hoping that it'll eventually change. I just need to get the balance right.

Apart from that, I'm happy. I'm enjoying having to face new challenges on a daily basis, and I'm loving seeing Princess so happy to see me after a day at work.

I'm lucky and I know it. Sometimes I struggle to realise it, and other times I just don't see it at all. But I do know it.

Whilst there is no meaning to this blog post and I have simply written for the sake of posting, it's helped me put some perspective on to my own situation. Things could be a lot worse. I can be proud of the fact that I'm providing for my family. I can feel safe in the knowledge that my girl is being looked after everyday.

Maybe I can finally start to feel settled.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Can you afford your house!?

It has recently come to my knowledge that there is a change to be made within the council housing system that a lot of council tenants are disagreeing with.

This is the terms that you have to pay rent for any unused bedrooms within your property.

There has been uproar between my Twitter and Facebook feed because of this change, and my main question is why?

Why are you angry that you are being asked to pay for your rent?
Why are you entitled to these extra bedrooms, yet families in need aren't?
Why should you have a 3 bedroom house for the same price as a 1 bedroom flat?

There are SO many questions, that I genuinely do not know where to start.

If you read this blog then you will know that I am in receipt of housing benefit. I won't hide this fact, nor will I hide the fact that I hate having to claim it. I have had more problems with my local council over the past 2 months than I care to count and I wish that I didn't have to deal with it. Unfortunately, my 2 bedroom, 5 roomed house has a rent more than double any council house, therefore I have to claim. My circumstances (the fact I am NOT a single parent) does not allow me to apply for a council house. I have no grounds. Therefore I am stuck in the private renting sector despite not earning enough to belong here. Even when Ross wasn't working and I was claiming Housing Benefit, we still weren't in a desperate enough position to be eligible for council housing, despite paying over £110 in rent whilst on Job Seekers.

So when I see people who are living in a 3 bedroom council house for £300 a month, MOANING that they have to pay for the extra 1 or 2 bedrooms they don't even use, it really pisses me off.

I admit, I can barely afford the house I live in along with housing benefit, but that's not even my issue. My problem is with the fact that these people are keeping these 2-3 bedroomed properties for themselves absolutely FREE of charge, whilst there are single mothers out there living in filthy hostels and shared accomodations with newborn babies and toddlers, because there is no housing available to them.

The main argument for this seems to be that "Well I have Grandchildren come to stay." That doesn't matter. What about the PARENT who has to live in their one bedroom flat with their baby, just because you can't be bothered to provide a blow up/camp bed. How about you have that family come and live with you? Better yet, GIVE that family the housing and bedrooms YOU DON'T NEED.

I'm lucky. Lucky in the sense that since I moved out of my Mums house, I have always been able to afford my rent. Yes, I claim housing benefit to help me, but I live in a house that is far too over priced and am looking to move. This has not always been the case, when we moved out, we could afford to rent and we did for ages. I can't apply for council housing now, because I am not classified as 'in need'.

This just reminds me of those families who are in need. My Mum lived in a 3 bedroom council house along with me, my sister and Ross. When Ross and I moved out, she exchanged to a 2 bedroom, whilst the other family moved into our old house. Someone who needed it. Both of our next door neighbours lived in 3 bedroom houses and there was only ever 1 person living in the houses. Our right hand side neighbour in particular was confined to the downstairs of her house, meaning the 3 bedrooms upstairs were not being used at all. 4 years later, she is still in the same house, as is our other neighbour.

If you are not willing to pay for your 'extra accomodation' which, to be quite frank, is exactly what it is, then move to a smaller and cheaper house.

There are people out there who are far worse off than you. Do you really need those extra bedrooms for the sake of a few family visits? Are you selfish enough to complain because you're having to pay for a room in your house, where 2 or 3 people live, where a family of 5 could quite happily occupy?

Even though I sound down right hypocritical, if you can't afford those extra bedrooms, give them to a family who needs them.

If I was lucky enough to occupy a 3 bedroom council house, then I would quite happily pay the extra rent. Because, between you and me, it's still less than what I pay right now for a 2 bedroom private rented.

The next time you complain "I can't afford it" or "I have Grandchildren that come and visit", spare a thought for EVERYONE else.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Random Acts of Kindness



I love a good package I do. No not that sort of package you filthy mare.

I find immense joy in receiving gifts and surprises through the post, not that it happens very often. The idea of this bloghop. created by the lovely Clara, is to impart said happiness upon the lovely readers of this blog.

I joined in with the lovely Jess so this is me paying forward!

So, if you fancy receiving a gift from me - bare in mind I'm skint 99% of the time - then comment on the bottom of this post. The originality and thought put into these gifts will mostly depend on how much wine has been consumed.. so expect an autograph. From Princess.

I will only be sending to the first 3-4 people who comment (if I can think of anything to send to the 4th, I will) so get your names down A to the SAP.

The only rule is that if you comment, you must post your own blog post and promise to send something to as many people as you so wish.

For those of you are lucky enough to be in the top 3 (lucky may be pushing it) then I will contact you via Twitter OR you can email me your address at misty.srsly@hotmail.co.uk

As Clara so brilliantly stated in her post: "This isn’t about money or extravagance, it could be anything from a  handwritten letter to a knitted blanket or a doodle or favourite book…literally anything. The point is to think of others and spread a little unexpected happiness."

Get commenting!



Difficulty Adjusting

As you know, at the beginning of the month, I started my new job.

For the past four weeks, I have been spending 4 days a week at a maximum of 30 hours, at my new workplace. 30 hours is by no means a lot and I am still classed as Part-Time, but the fact I am no longer at home every single day is a massive change for me.

I knew that I would need time to adjust. It was obvious I wasn't going to just turn up on my first day at work, fit right in and not miss my daughter.

Because I do, massively. My work place is literally 2 minutes away, so I could easily go home on my lunch break, but I decide not to. This is because I don't want to have to say goodbye to her twice in one day. She comes to the front door and waves me off. Every time I get a few footsteps away, she shouts me back with demands of another kiss or a hug. And then it breaks my heart as I have to walk away and leave her standing in the doorway.

Princess is staying at home with her Daddy, so I know she is fine. She is looked after and she is loved, more so than any other person I could leave her with. I just miss being the one that stays with her. That closes the door and asks "what shall we do today?" It's selfish of me because I've already had a whole 2 years alone with Princess. It's finally Ross's turn to see it from the other side - and trust me, he see's it!

I still do lots of things with Princess. When I get home from work we play games, mainly 'Pop goes the weasel' and she shows me what she's done that day. I still bathe her and put her to bed, so I'm not really missing out on much, just everything in between. I'm missing her little quirks and her funny little games.

I'm missing that little bond we used to share.

I think my main difficulty adjusting, is having to tell her off. I don't like doing it at the best of times, but after I haven't seen her all day, I really don't like it. I want to come home and see her happy, have a few cuddles and stories before I put her to bed.

Instead, she seems to take on a whole new personality who just wants to whinge and cry at me. There's usually no reason for it, and even when I sit down and try to talk to her and ask her what's wrong or what she wants, she changes her mind that often that I'm not even sure she really knows. I absolutely hate telling her off, especially when it's for behaviour that's really out of character for her.

After a few days at work, of only seeing her for a few hours a day, the last thing I want to do is punish her, but it seems like all I'm doing recently.

It's probably just a phase and I realise we both need to adjust to the new changes in our lives.

It doesn't make it any less difficult.