Saturday, 29 November 2014

Nearly New Bargains

So last Saturday we went to not one but two local nearly new sales. Reassuringly, we weren't the only ones because I spotted a couple of familiar faces also filling their cars up.  As I mentioned in Swapping High Street for Nearly New, since having A we have become big fans of nearly new sales as they help us to kit out our little one for a reasonable price (particularly useful as we currently have to update her wardrobe every three months as she grows!).

This time, for £30 all in all  we picked up around fifteen items of clothes and a few toys. I thought I'd share with you a couple of our favourite finds!

If you fancy visiting a sale near you keep an eye on these websites:


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Friday, 21 November 2014

10 facts about me

After reading the lovely Running in Lavender With My Girls 20 facts about herself and discovering the YouBabyMeMummy List Linky, I feel inspired to pull together a ten facts about me list. It’s so easy when blogging (and indeed in life) to focus on my daughter and forget about myself. In fact, it was quite a challenge to find a recent non-baby picture of myself to include with this post (it seems my addiction to selfies has fallen by the wayside) so you lucky peeps get a new picture freshly taken today.

So here are ten facts about me that I hope you find interesting!

1. Brighton is one of my favourite places – I went to university down there, had my hen do there and visit friends there as much as I can. It’s a home away from home and I love the lanes, the chocolate shop Choccywoccydoodah and the smell of the sea. Oh and the donuts… I LOVE the donuts.

2. I am a coffee shop fiend (even though I don’t drink proper coffee – according to my husband) – I don’t know if it’s the smell of the coffee beans, the sound of the machines or just the pastries but you will regularly find me in some chain coffee shop with a mocha in hand. Especially on those mornings where I just have to get out the house or if I need a caffeine fix to get me through the day

3. I do love a bargain - OK who doesn’t but since becoming a mum I’ve become much more in touch with this side of me. I have become a prolific eBay shopper and a connoisseur of the second-hand kids clothes market and as a result my daughter is now far better dressed than me.

4. I’m from a big family – I am the eldest of four and have one sister and two brothers. Growing up with this many of us was well, honestly quite chaotic. With four children and a whole host of pets from dogs to chinchillas to stick insects (who got on the loose) our house was far from quiet. But it was fun and entertaining and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

5. I love stories – I’ve been a keen reader since I was small and have continued to read avidly as an adult. I usually have an opinion on the best seller’s list or know what the hot new book-film will be but having a small person to look after has slightly slowed this. Maybe in 2015 I can get this back on track…

6. I lost my mum two and a half years ago- I wasn’t sure if I should include this (my finger is hovering over the delete button as I type) but I think the lists I enjoy always have a degree of frankness to them.  My mum was an amazing woman and is missed by many. This was a defining moment in my life and whilst it saddens me that she will never get to meet my daughter (and any other children I have) I know she is watching over us and her loss has taught me to cherish every single day.

7. I am currently studying for a diploma in freelance journalism – being on maternity leave has helped me to put life in perspective and I am planning on embarking on a new career next year (a combination of writing and marketing). Studying with a new-born has had its challenges (I thank my husband for all his support) but I am so excited and inspired to learn again.

8. My favourite TV show of the moment is  Masterchef Australia – I know Yummy Blogger is also a fan! It’s definitely the best series so far and I love that it’s on every night. Much more dramatic than the UK one (*sorry*). Although, I have yet to try out any of the recipes…

9. This year I have gone from Mulberry to Mothercare- since having A I have gone from living the city life complete with cocktails after work and a lot of shopping in Covent Garden to a quieter life at home in Croydon. It was a challenge to start with (those first few weeks on leave were let’s say ‘interesting’) but I have now made some amazing friends and have been pleasantly surprised at how family-friendly the area is.

10. I love to dance – not professionally or anything but I love to have a good boogie whether its in a bar (which rarely happens these days), at an exercise class (which happens even less) or just in the kitchen (which usually happens most days at teatime). I do wonder what my daughter will make of it as she grows up – hopefully she will join in! 

I look forward to reading your lists and learning more about you...

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The List

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

5 inspiring parenting quotes

After a long day, I do like to spend a bit of time on Pinterest to unwind (my OH doesn't quite get it and often finds me chuckling to myself). My favourite section is 'quotes' and I find many insightful, funny and touching words. I often come across inspiring parenting quotes that make me smile as they illustrate the reality of day-to-day parenting. It's nice to know I'm not the only one out there looking round their house wondering where all the mess came from...again...

I've pulled together five of my favourite inspiring parent quotes. Let me know if these resonate with you or what your favourites are!

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*most of these quotes are anonymous so haven't been credited.

Friday, 14 November 2014

What we're reading in...November

Pre-baby I was an avid reader. I love books; reading, writing, reading about writing; so much so, I spent three years writing about books for my degree. I even set up a blog about books to capture my thoughts and recommendations. I am a book worm through and through (slightly strange sentence… but you get my point!)

Since I fell pregnant and had A, unfortunately I haven’t had as much time, energy or head space to sit down and read. I can’t complain too much though, as thanks to the internet I am able to read a lot of fab articles, blogs and content on my phone when I do get a few minutes to myself.

My fiction fix is now coming from the children’s books we are reading to A. Now that she is eight months old, our little one is becoming more engaged with the books we are reading to her and I’m hoping this will grow into a love of reading as she gets older (*must try not to be pushy about this*).

I want to share with you the children’s books we are enjoying, so each month I will post up a review of our current favourite. And if you have any to recommend then please let me know… I’m always looking to expand our collection!

This month we are reading Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Written by the same talented duo who created The Gruffalo, I had high expectations when we chose this one to read. I was not disappointed. Set to the same rhyming couplet structure as The Gruffalo, Stick Man is about a Stick Man (!) who ventures out from his family tree one day and unexpectedly ends up on an adventure. He finds himself moving further and further away from his home and getting involved in all sorts of situations. ‘I’m not a stick, why can’t you see. I’m Stick Man, I’m Stick Man, I’m STICK MAN, that’s me’ he cries out as he is consistently mistaken for a useful stick, and in this book sticks have many, many uses…

A enjoys the sing song rhythm of the story and seems to like the beautiful illustrations. The pictures are bright and varied and A likes to show her appreciation by smiling and banging the pages. She is too little to understand the story just yet but likes to sit with me when reading and help turn the pages!

Stick Man is ideal for the winter months as it has a festive twist (you may have noticed the snow on the cover) and would be good to start reading to your little ones in the next few weeks. But the story is ultimately set all year round so don’t feel restricted!

I think Stick Man will appeal to babies and pre-school children as it has bright and detailed illustrations, a varied story line and rhythmic language.

Have you and your family read Stick Man? What do you think?
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Super Busy Mum

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Five reasons why Blogfest Rocked


So yesterday I headed off for my first child-free day in eight months and went to Kings Place for my first ever blogging conference; Mumsnet's Blogfest. It felt a bit like the first day of school as I didn't know anyone but I was very excited by the line-up and the thought of using the learning part of my brain again! 

It was an exciting, educational and truly inspiring day and here are my top five reasons for why Blogfest officially rocked. 

1. The panels: I felt very spoiled as I got to hear from a whole host of writers, journalists and bloggers. From the Fleet Street Fox to Suzanne Moore to Francesca Martinez and Nick Hornby, everyone who spoke was inspirational and left me with some food for thought. My favourite quote of the day ( there were many to choose from) came from Suzanne Moore; ' Writing is about living, live as much as you can'. True words. 

2. The masterclasses: as a new(ish) blogger and digital addict I am keen to learn as much as I can about the world of blogging and social media. I found both the 'getting more from Google' and  'advanced social media' sessions invaluable and I'm now itching to get to grips with Google +. Wish me luck! 

3. New friends: it was so lovely to meet some new blogging friends and find some great new blogs! It was amazing to see how the internet had brought us all together and I look forward keeping up with with these lovely ladies in the future.

4. The Twitter screen: during the panel debates, the live twitter stream was projected up on the big screen. It was great fun to see everyone's responses to the live debate and it made the discussion feel very interactive. I was also secretly ( or not so secretly) pleased when my comments popped up!

5.  Gin & Tonic: the day ended with some well-deserved gin & tonics from Fever Tree. It was a lovely chance to have a good chat before jumping on the train home to see how OH had fared with the little one...

Super Busy Mum