Posts tagged ‘mummy blogs’

September 17, 2012

Pennies for Piggies update

A while ago I wrote about a small charity founded by Sarah Brown called PiggyBankKids and our plans to support them with a coin collection, after being inspired by the fabulous DorkyMum and Blog4Charity. Well, the summer is over, and we have a full jar of coins to send off to as our little contribution.

And it is little, I know that. I’d hazard a guess that it’s only £20 or so – because it’s mostly coppers, collected in a jam jar, by a five and three year old. At first I was a bit embarrassed by how little we’ve managed to collect ( especially during our time away from home on holiday, where we collected nothing) but I’ve been thinking this over for a while and I’ve changed my mind.

The whole experience has been about far more than collecting a little jar of money. It has had lots of bigger learning experiences for us all. Firstly, it has taught my daughter a bit more about money. Over the summer, she’s started getting pocket money of her own, and we’ve introduced to her the idea that we’re not actually made of money after all (far from it!) and if she wants to buy all the toys she likes, then she had better start saving that pocket money up. Learning about how much things cost, and the value of things – deciding if she really, really wants something, is the start of her learning to manage her money far better than I ever did. She also does a couple of little jobs to earn this money – just helping to tidy up and making her bed, but again, important lessons.  Deciding how much to give her each week, to make sure that saving up for something doesn’t take so long the reward is lost, has been a good learning experience for me.

The other, equally important lesson has been that of charity. Learning a bit more about the wider world, about how other people and situations might need our help and how we can contribute to make things better, has been the main side effect of our little charity pot. We have talked about how some people are less fortunate than we are, and about how great it is that we can do a little bit to help make the world a better place. The fact that Eve knows and is very proud of being a premature and therefore tiny baby, means that she is very happy to help other little babies through PiggyBankKids. We’ve sponsored a child for a couple of years and now our daughter is old enough for us to start talking about him too, and what his life is like. Eve has also decided she’d like to sponsor a snow leopard, but I’m pretty convinced she’s been swayed by the cuddly toy – some things never change!

We’ll probably carry on collecting coppers in a jam jar too – it’s such a simple thing and one that the kids both enjoy and understand. And of course the next step  is sending this collection off to PiggyBankKids and showing my children that the money they’ve collected matters and will help someone else. A valuable lesson from a little jam jar, and something that doesn’t feel so much like the end of our charitable giving as a family, but like the beginning.

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November 22, 2011

7 Secrets.

I must have done a marvellous job of answering the last meme (which I’ve looked up, since my last one : an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture), because I have received a blog award!

Thank you Rhiannon! (@The_Last_Slayer)

To receive the award, I now have to share 7 secrets about myself. There is little that the people in my life don’t already know about me, but for the benefit of folk who read this who haven’t known me all that long, here we go:

1: I have a degree in Equine Science. As you can imagine, outside of the specialist industry, it’s not massively helpful as a career booster, but the three years I spent studying it gave me a husband, some of my best friends (who I am very bad at visiting, sorry girls xx) and some of the best memories I’ll ever have.

2: I have two favourite novels – ‘War and Peace’ and ‘I Capture The Castle’. I Capture The Castle has become a bit of a cliche as so many famous women list it as a favourite. I feel as though they stole it from me! It’s the perfect bittersweet coming-of-age novel which I read time and time again, I cannot wait to share it with my daughter. I don’t talk about War and Peace as much because people think I’m trying to be clever. I’m not. Yes, it is a huge book, but it reads like a soap opera and it makes me so sad that people are scared of it. Give it a go, it’s truly an amazing book.

3: One of my worst vices is my magazine addiction. I have been known to buy 30 magazines in a month, on a variety of subjects including fashion, horses, gardening, travel, antiques, food and surfing. One of my favourite memories from being young is a day off school (due to strikes – nothing changes!) and spending my pocket money on a can of 7Up and a copy of Vogue. So, from a very young age I’ve been addicted to the glamour and artistry of the fashion industry, which means I know far more about it than my appearance suggests!  On occasion, it’s proved very useful. I once won hundreds of dollars in Australia on a back-packing trip by knowing what Coco Chanel’s real name was. None of the other students had a clue. PS – I only bought that surfing magazine once…

4: I am a qualified massage therapist. I never get to practice because my husband hates it. I like to think that it’s not just because I’m rubbish…

5: When I was 14, I wrote a list of all the things I wanted to do with my life. I used to carry it around and look at it, without every really doing anything about making any of them happen. (The start of my life as a scanner, clearly!)  It never occurred to me at the time, that I’d need about ten lifetimes to get through it all, not to mention some serious wealth. I finally realised that and threw it away, but I often think about it, and have subsequently written a proper Bucket List (which, for now, remains a secret!) Now I carry that around without doing anything about making any of it happen. This has got to change.

6: I once spent the equivalent of my monthly mortgage payment on a pair of shoes. I don’t regret it.

7: For a brief, shiny (but quite frankly, starving) moment last summer, I wore size 8 jeans. Now, I am a rounder but less angry size 12. It turns out there are a lot more important things to me than being really thin. The jeans are going to a car boot sale. Having said that, I remain eternally optimistic that one day I will be able to balance my desire to be a bit thinner with my desire for a nice cup of tea and a biscuit.

Now, I have to pass this challenge and award on: so I am going to pass it to @Minibreakmummy!

November 18, 2011

10 Questions.

This is the first time I’ve been asked to do one of these. I’m a little nervous, not least because I read the original post and it mentioned things like ‘linky’ and ‘meme’. I do not know what these are. (Note to self: find out, sharpish)

So, thanks to the lovely Rhiannon at A Hell of A Woman (who has spent the day making me smile and has great taste in TV shows) I have been tagged, and here are my answers.

1: Describe yourself in 7 words:

Friendly, helpful, busy, scanner, interested (in everything) and untidy (at this point, I ran out of ideas and asked my husband – he said ‘wonderful’ but I think he knew what I was doing, so I don’t think it counts.) I’ll settle for organiser, as my last word.

2: What keeps you awake at night?

Can I put my son? Because at the moment, it’s my son. He’s two and a half and wants to sleep with MUMMY and not in his own bed. Apart from that, the  usual things keep me awake – money, time, the end of the world, something happening to my kids, whether I sent that last work email and what I need to remember for the next morning. And cold toes. I cannot sleep if my toes are cold.

3: If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be?

Ooooh, this is HARD. I’d love to be someone like Grace Coddington. Or Karl Lagerfeld. Or, Mary King, the Olympic three day eventer. Or, and I don’t have a specific name in mind, but I’d like to be the kind of journalist who gets to review things of luxury – spas, hotels, restaurants – all in the name of work. It turns out I have a long list of people I’d like to be. I did not know that.

4: What are you wearing right now?

Giant stripy cardigan with a button missing from Gap, vest top, black leggings and odd socks. I am basically an unrecognised style icon. Also, I was on my way to bed when I got this link, and being the dedicated blogger that I am, came back downstairs to type. Had I known that this was going to be a question, I’d have got changed into something with sequins…

5: What scares you? 

See my answer to 2, above. Environmental disaster, something happening to my children, injustice, famine, war. All the big stuff. Cheery, no?

6: What is the best and worst thing about blogging?

Hmm, the best is that I have unlimited space to write what I like, even when the grammar is poor and my subject matter is dull. I am also really enjoying meeting lots of new people from all over the place and, in some cases, meeting them in real life too! The worst thing is that sometimes I get lost with terminology, technology and IT (I mean, what IS a meme?…seriously, I have no idea) plus I need a lot more time to balance this with a full time job, two small kids, an allotment and a bunch of other stuff that I want/like/need to do in order to function as a normal, happy human being.

7: What was the last website you looked at?

Well, apart from the very blog that sent me this link, it was 4OD. I love on-demand TV. In fact, I watch the majority of my TV when the rest of the world has already seen it. Which means I’m very rarely in those live-stream Twitter conversations, but it does mean that I can balance a healthy TV habit with the rest of my life!

8:If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

If you’d asked me this question a few years ago, I would probably have given you a great big long list of things. As I reach my mid-thirties, there is little I’d change physically. Even my hair, which I spent the majority of my teenage years battling with, I’ve grown to like. My c-section scars are a reminder of my history and my stretch marks likewise. I’d quite like to be a bit fitter, as at the moment I’m battling with some odd foot problem, which is stopping me from exercising. If I could change ONE thing though, it would be to get rid of the keratosis pilaris on my upper arms. The reason I don’t wear sleeveless. Pah.

9: Slankets: yes or no?

What is a slanket?

10: Tell us something about the person who tagged you.

Rhiannon from A Hell of A Woman is a mummy blogger with a Buffy The Vampire Slayer obsession (see, told you she had great taste in TV) but who thinks she has style closer to that of Sue Heck from The Middle than the lovely Buffy (which I’m sure isn’t true). She’s the mother of two, a fan of cake and (in her own words) ‘a secret coveter of a real life that matches her imaginary life!’ Go and spend some time on her blog, she’s written some great stuff on there and is embarking on something of a life challenge, which is fabulous.

So, in accordance with the rules, I have to tag someone else, and so I’m going to tag Musings from a Mum, as I’ve just started to chat with her on Twitter, and I’d like to get to know her a bit better. I now have to go to the original post by Super Amazing Mum and leave a comment.

That’s that then. I’m off to Google all the things I don’t know about…

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