Wednesday, 4 March 2015

How to prepare for a Mummy Mini-Break AKA I'm off to Country2Country!

I'm so excited - only three more get-ups and I'll be on my way to London for the annual Country 2 Country festival of amazing country music artists.

Yes, I'm off on a Mummy Mini-Break! 

Now, this shindig has been going on for three years, but this is the first time I've made it (tickets sell-out sharpish).

It also happily coincides with me needing a little rest from Mummying for a few days (three; and two nights in a Hilton. A Hilton!)

And I've loved country music since listening to my Mum's Kenny and Dolly tapes growing up, so pretty fabulous timing, and I know my way around this year's must-see artists, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Lee Ann Womack, The Shires, Brandy Clark and the incredible voice of Brantley Gilbert. 

But I can't just throw a few things in a bag and be off; that is so the very wrong approach to really indulging in the ultimate Mummy Time (and ensuring my battery is fully charged for partner's mid-March ski trip).

Here's how I've been preparing so far: 
Basically, List it Up.

List for packing
  • Don't forget the mini Clinique and Clarins toiletries (thank you, recent Ebay purchases!)
  • Take not-worn-for-ages clothes to wear (paused to consider wearing heels again, fell off the bed laughing and decided on three pairs of flats and travel-slippers).
  • Ensure all clothes are darks, so I look fabulous and only have to do one wash when I return.
  • Decide which overnight case, which day bag, which purse, which wash bag to pack.
  • Download books that I’ve been meaning to read since pregnancy four years ago (thank you, Kindle sample facilities!)

List for while I'm away
  • Lay out clothes for daughter to wear; why am I the only one who knows the difference between pyjamas and leggings?
  • Suggest Rain and Non-Rain adventures for Daddy and Daughter to enjoy (GPS programming for the Arting kit, affectionately called Noodle Drawers, sorry Mister Maker).
  • Update daughter’s favourite TV shows on the planner (only 3 Ben and Holly’s left after my last cull; thank you, repeated channels).
  • Buy meals and snacks and treats for the three days I’m away; times two as daughter is in her fussy-eating phase and only wants to eat yellow food (cheese, yoghurt, crisps, chicken....) She makes an exception for chocolate. 

List of things to do while I’m away:
  • Hair removal (full legs! chin!) without constant questions of 'What are you doing, Mummy?'
  • Read a magazine in a massive bubble bath (will be on Ebay next week).
  • Watch Mummy TV (not Peppa Pig or the news).
  • Save event times to phone to maximise shopping in between country music acts; will miss the buggy for storage facility.
  • Enjoy hotel room essentials: Prosecco, ginormous box of Thornton’s, eye mask and ear plugs: two nights without waking to hear ‘Mummy’ at two am for an F1 Nappy Change.
As I said: Excited!

So, where are you going on your Mini-Break this year?

Friday, 13 February 2015

A stylish night in

Yes, this is our Friday 13th - Valentine's Day - 7th Anniversary weekend, and as the weather is shocking, I spent all afternoon catching up with Sewing Bee preparing a very stylish night in ...

... as they say in the Boots No 7 adverts ...

Ta Dah! 

A massive pizza from Tesco 
(may throw in a few oven chips, too; just sayin')

M&S Chocolate Eclairs 
(the whipping I had to give shoppers to bypass the overpriced Dine-in-for-Two queues!) 

M&S Fizzy Mojito Cocktail 
(no mixing necessary; less than a fiver; you're welcome)

So, what's your idea of a stylish night in, dear reader? 

Friday, 6 February 2015

Scheduling blog posts Vs impulse (or CBB) writing?

Since Perez wasn't booted out a fortnight ago when he really should have been (that's the Celebrity Big Brother bit of this post) I have had a lot more time on the laptop.

So I've been playing around with images and text on my Facebook page, as social media peoples seem to love photos and quotes.

Using MS Publisher to create a jpeg, here was effort Number 1:

Very basic, but it was a cold night; this blogger needs heat to think clearly.

And I forgot to add my name, so if people were to share they wouldn't know which brilliant - ahem- designer/author to acknowledge.  Eek, school lass entrepreneur error.  

Night number two generated:

I added a Clipart image (I know - Old Skool IT) but the mix of colours - albeit that fuscia and teal are the best in the rainbow - are a bit jarring; a bit unstylish, if you will. Although I stand by the sentiment.

And you can't beat a hashtag fingersnap. 

As the CBB final approached (and the opening RBS 6 Nations game) my third photo included a tip from my book, 119 Style Boosts from the Size15Stylist:

This image made me lift my scuba skirt in a pre-twirl; text box on top of a full-sized image! Again, still using MS Publisher and clipart, converting the file to a jpeg.

And so tonight's image, drafted during the CBB Bit on the Side show:

Yes, the text is a little smaller, but look what a little font change has done (made it a Stylish, of course!) and I love that the image really does fabulously represent another quote from my book - well, I did justify that playing around with these creations was a marketing strategy.

Now, I'm no graphic designer, and I may be on the lookout for some support with Size15Stylist branding in 2015, but in only four nights that was my amateur inspirational-image journey, and I'll keep on experimenting with images for my Facebook page. Perhaps not this weekend; toddler-daughter turns three and we have a lot of balloons to blow up tomorrow night!

But if you're new to blogging and wondering where to start, look at your own resources; you don't always have to throw money at outsourcing.

Persistence and consistency are two of the greatest skills for entrepreneurs and bloggers. 

So, for my next challenge: do you write blogs as you go, or do you schedule?