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Showing posts from 2015

Blogfest15: annual re-inspiration and entertainment

Were you there?
Were you?

Did you have an inspiringly awesome and motivating time, like I did?
(Did you lose a bag, but then become reunited with your worldly possessions – er, straightners and daughter’s Christmas presents - thanks to the fabulous Kings Place staff, like I did?)
Yes, I’m talking about the fabulousness that was Blogfest15.
And as if Mumsnet could better 2014, but They So Did. 

Diary of a Working Mum: Slow down, Time!

Time, you thief, who let you in? 
"Hurry up", I constantly plead with my pre-school daughter, "we'll be late/the shops will close" (why do I only go supermarket shopping at 3pm on a Sunday? When will I get my act together to shop online at 5 am?). I suddenly get serious; "You don't want to make Mummy/Daddy/Granny/Nannie late, do you?"
And on she goes, at her own steady pace, meticulously completing her task/skilfully being cute at teeth-brushing time.  I feel the centrifugal force tempting me to slow down with her, but I can't, otherwise the fine China plates I'm juggling of Mother/Daughter,/Employee/Friend/Girlfriend (in that order, sadly) will fall, but my own crash will be louder.
I diarise downtime; I know it's that essential. I love spending the morning with my little girl, in our PJs, making arts and crafts (who doesn't?!), but it doesn't happen as often as I'd like.
And I have no idea how I got this busy, or this fee…

Christmas Beauty Event with Boots

Forget Halloween - October is all about the beauty goodies!
Whether you’re treating yourself to a pampering Advent Calendar (pop along to the fab LBQ blog for a beautiful countdown summary) or just treating yourself, as I did during the Boots Advantage Card points event last Thursday, the middle of Autumn isn't all about pumpkins and bats.

Beauty Crackers

Writing Time

Have you ever tried to type on a laptop whilst zipping along an M road at 70 mph?  

That's how I've spent the last couple of days, zipping between Devon, Gloucestershire and Somerset, holidaying, apple-picking and family-visiting. And, yes, yes, I was the passenger, lest anyone think I'm a complete barmpot (as if writing and publishing an ebook in 4 weeks isn't already in that category). 

It's a might tricky, but one qwerty letter at a time edged the word count towards my first 1000.  

I was writing, one step at a time.  

From WAHM to Working Mum: Missing Social Media and (sleep)

Now, this post isn't going to be a whinge-fest; I know I'm lucky to have a job, never mind one I love, and that I was lucky enough to work from home during my little girl's first years, ....

...but, by, 'eck I miss blogging, catching up on Twitter, creating Facebook posts and sharing in networking events. 

And I miss sleep like a Mum with a newborn baby.

So, quick recap - a month ago I earned myself an amazing job which means I spend half the week engaging students with historical events and political futures.  Turns out the other half of the week is given to creating resources, assessing, wondering how to strike that balance between scary and approachable, driving and utter exhaustion.  

The weekends have been given over to marking work and planning three lessons for Monday; two of which I team-teach (skill in itself). 

I now wake up and leave the house an hour before my little girl awakes, and manage a quick hour with her before bath and bed (hers; I haven't personal…

Networking - Liebster and local style!

My recent transition to almost full-time working has meant that I haven't spent that much time blogging or catching up on social media; well, except for Facebook which is essential down time, obviously. 

So I was very chuffed this week when the fabulous Shula at the Fun Fashion & Things blog nominated me for a Liebster Award - I may be away from the blogosphere, but I'm not forgotten! It served as a timely reminder that I may have thrown myself into work, but it's great to have me time, too. 

The idea is to connect with other bloggers, who may not be as well known, and to find out more about each other - the questions may also provide stimulus for future blog opportunities!

From WAHM to Working Mum

My name is Emma, and I’m ready to go back to work
 – and properly this time around.

How I worked when my daughter was a baby: When I had my daughter three and a half years ago I was lucky enough to return to an employer after 10 months’ maternity leave. But I arrived back into chaos - during a peak work and redundancy period, when my Mum went into hospital with a lung disease and I had undiagnosed PND. Just two months' later the three of us battled a form of norovirus, and I never want to lose half a stone that way again; Mini Stylist had the Rotovirus in the following April, too.
By the time I really knew what was happening I realised – between the hot-desking and drive-mapping - that I was shattered, stressed out and very shouty at home from all the traveling and ushering around of my daughter, between nursery and two sets of wonderful grandparents.

5 reasons why I love the end of summer

I live in the UK, in the beautiful south-west county of Devon, so I enjoy bountiful sunny days and balmy evenings for months on end, right?  

Not really.  

April and May are typically lovely, and the flip-flops come out from their hibernation around Easter time.  But the moment the actual summer arrives (June, July, August) the glorious weather seems to depart for better climes.

However, I've worn my ankle boots too often this summer as this year has been particularly wet, and I spent most of last week trying to dry out from the inside (I had to throw away the really soggy clothes that refused to dry). 

It was around the time of wringing out Mini Stylist's socks for the third time one day when I decided to make peace with not having had a summer (and vowed to book a winter sun break at the first opportunity). 

So I was delighted with a good run of three dry, if slightly cloudy, days at the start of the August Bank Holiday, and took advantage of the East Devon and Dorset Jurassic co…

How to declutter your mind (as a parent blogger)

10 signs you're a 30plus Blogger (whatever your age)

An Exeter Shopping Adventure

I love my blogging job.
This morning I took the train from Plymouth to Exeter (about an hour) for a shopping trip, and just look at these gorgeous coastal views along the sea wall from Teignmouth to Starcross:

Have you ever been to Exeter?The historic and pretty city is home to three railway stations, one cathedral, one university, one college, and a lot of amazing shops.

Hosted by the three shopping hubs of Princesshay (Debenhams, Reiss, Karen Millen), the High Street (Gap, Boots, John Lewis) and the Guildhall ShoppingCentre (Primark, WIlkos, Superdrug). Nestled amongst these hubs lie more shops and tea rooms and bars and eateries along Gandy Street and Queen Street.But believe me, just head for Exeter Central Station (or walk the steep, steep hill from Exeter St David’s station) and all the shops are accessible, with plenty of rest stops to suit every taste and budget, from Michael Caine’s Abode to a Subway.
I digress from shopping (and that won't do, oh no).

After an hour planni…

Clothing sizes: we are more than just a number

Wow, look at these fabulous dresses I found in the sales this weekend - I just fell in love with the raspberry pink pattern (Kew from TK Maxx; £22), and I go weak at the knees for the any kind of monochrome (BHS, £12.50), but this dress has a particularly gorgeous collar and structure. 

And now take a look at the numbers next to them.  

Cake Style

I like cake. A lot. 

You know how you can sometimes become a bit merry on wine or cocktails (which I do)?  Well, I get cake-faced, from the sugar-rush unique to devouring A Lot of Cake. 
So when the fabulous Blogger, Little Ellie Mae, organised a cupcake decorating class for this month’s Plymouth blogging network (#PlymouthBlogMeet), I was definitely in.
And what a great afternoon was had at Mrs Brown’s, located just off North Hill in Plymouth.Georgie and Jemma patiently guided us through rose-decorating four cupcakes, which, thankfully, they had baked, as I am dire at baking.

Over a relaxing two hours we enjoyed chatting, tea-drinking, Victoria-sponge-cake-eating (chuffing yum!) and learned how to pipe rose-style frosting onto our cakes, and create rose petals as cupcake centre-pieces. (Don't worry; Georgie only had her arms folded to stop herself joining in with decorating cakes - she is very friendly). 

Do you save for the sales, or experiences?