Friday, 31 December 2010

The Sales scrum!

I foolishly thought I would venture into the Town centre yesterday, only to be greeted by a frenzy of activity.  What is wrong with everyone behaving appalingly to get a bargain.  It was like being in the middle of a rugby scrum.  There was a distinct lack of manners, with people elbowing each other and about to pounce on garments that were put down.  Even on the way down there was people road raging each other as everyone seems to be out on the roads, who knows where they are all going.  The season of goodwill is evidently over, did n't last long! 

I love a bargain, and there is nothing quite like relishing over the fact you have got what you wanted for half price.  As I am getting older I can not be bothered with the mayhem of it all.  I could feel the heightened stress sweeping the high street as I walked down it.  People getting impatient and angry in long queues for the tills.  I think everyone should take a chill pill and calm down for the sake of a few quid off a top.

Why anyone would camp outside Next for the night to get a bargain and endure the tribe like mentality of fighting their way through the crowd I have no idea.  I went once, not at 5 am I might add and walked straight out.  There were people pushing and shoving people out the way, and Women buying entire racks of clothes.  Their behaviour was unbelievable.  I would rather go without or pop down the local outlet centre where there are bargains all year around.  Maybe it is the looming 20% VAT increase that is on everyone's minds, sucked in by the shops advertising there is no VAT increase yet, enforcing the must by lots now.  For anyone who has not ventured down to the retail hell, be warned and prepared.   

This is fairly basic but one thing I do not understand is why January sales are not in January?  Can we all not stand the shops being shut for a few days to enjoy a few days with our familys.  I personally think shops should be shut on a Sunday, not for religous reasons, just to stop and make us do other things.  As the Queen said in her speech possibly get out and do some sport!

Anyway enough of my retail woes, Happy New Year everyone, I wish you all a fabulous 2011!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Vive La France - Haitian orphans!

I have just watched a heart warming piece of news and it is the best I have seen this year.  France have gone and chartered an areoplane to collect some of the Haitian orphans.  Everyone looks delighted and one man said, "It is the best Christmas present ever,".  I love the French for their plucky characteristics, instead of being hesitant and going through lots of red tape they just do it.  We should take a leaf out of their book.

What they have done makes perfect sense.  The poor orphans need a home and they have citizens willing to adopt them and bring them up as their own.  If I could live anywhere in the world I would pick France.  I lived there for a year whilst doing my degree.  I totally understand why they are patriotic.  The Country is beautiful with mountains to the East for ski-ing and beaches in the South for Summer holidays, why would you want to leave.  Not to mention their delicious food.  A French Woman can make the most simpliest dish of carrots taste superbe.

They take pride in their heritage and are not afriad to say no if something threatens that.  The architecture of their Cities and Towns has been fiercely guarded and it shows.  Where as in the UK we have let our Councils get away with murder.  If I look at my home Town we have got beautiful old buildings next to ugly seventies monstrosities and we appear to need a lot of flats, as on any given green belt we are building more!  Good for France.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Terrific snow!

I am sure no doubt most of you have noticed that the snow is back again.  I had the most wonderful day to day.  I woke up to see the beautiful scene outside my bedroom window of snow everywhere.  I truly believe snow makes for beautiful vistas. 

My Children squeeled with delight when the saw the new sledges we got them.  We then all went to a nearby hilly green area and went sledging.  It was fantastic and lots of fun.  Most of the School was down there doing the same thing, having fun.  The weather was perfect as it was not too cold or damp.  The kids were in their element tearing along the hills.  I took loads of photgraphs as I have a compulsion for snowy pictures. 

We all went for a hot coffee in a nearby bar, again saw a few familiar faces and then walked back home.  In the afternoon I watched some festive films with the Children and felt nice and cosy in my own home.  It is great to have a sense of not going out in the car and keeping it local.  I have taken the advice of not going out on any unnecessary journeys and embraced the calmness of being in my own home.  I think we all need to relax and enjoy it as most likely it will all be gone soon.

Monday, 13 December 2010

I am feeling the pinch!

Supermarkets are good at Marketing when I go in to buy some milk, I come out with two large bags of shopping and I have spent £50, and I am not sure what I have bought!  I get sucked in with all of their buy two and get a discount offer.  I then find I am throwing items away at the end of the week as I have not used them, what a waste.  My new protocol is to focus on what I have gone in for and only buy one rather than two!  You may think this is easy, but they are clever and know how to appeal to your retail spending habits.  I find it irritating that they put half price on items that were never that price in the first place, the full price of the item is three times the price, who do they think they are kidding. 

I am definitely feeling the credit crunch pinch.  I really live quite frugally, I do n't have a mobile phone contract and I own my car.  I have noticed that recently my money that I earn is not going as far.  For the first time in my life I can see it is easy to go under financially, keep over spending by a few hundred pounds every month and you are there.  I work part-time and I now can not afford to buy anything other in a month than essentials, I am treading water.  Food and petrol has gone up but lets face it no-one's salaries are going up with it.  I have worked at the same firm for nearly ten years and during that time have only ever got 2 or 3% pay rises every year that do not cover inflation (apart from the last two years).  I know I can not leave to get a better paid job as I would not be able to get the hours I am currently on to fit in with my Children. 

With supermarkets I have decided to paint the picture in my head that they are enemy and I am on a 007 Bond mission to not spend as much money.  Since, I have been practicising my new found technique, my food bill has halved.  Mission accomplished, maybe I should drop wearing the balaclava and moustache for the local shop, as the security guards keep following me around!

Friday, 10 December 2010

The students revolt

I am flabbergasted at the behaviour of those students ambushing Prince Charles and Camilla.  I totally agree with freedom of speech, protest and frankly believe that this country could do more with peaceful protests, but not attacking two pensioners.  Regardless of who they are in essence a group of students were attacking two old pensioners, that is wrong and Charles and Camilla must have been shaken by the whole experience.

I have always admired the French for patriotism and striking to hear their protest.  These students who are supposedly meant to be more intelligent than the average person are making themselves look like yobs. 

I can understand that there will always be the people in the middle that are worst off with these decisions.  Rich kids will still go to University and there will be assistance for students from poorer backgrounds, that means the ones in the middle will most likely miss out.

I went to University and had a fabulous time, however, I can not say that my French degree has really benefited me in my working career.  When I went I got a grant and did not have to pay any tuition fees.  If back then I had to pay I would not have gone, but I would probably be in the same job today as a Human Resources Manager as I would have worked my way up and studied my CIPD part time.

I do not think that Students should be Students for the sake of it, but evidently there are professional degrees out there for Doctors etc that will always been filled.  Maybe, this will get rid of a few unnecessary degrees that are useless in the world of work.  My degree did not lend itself to any vocational training other than being a French teacher, which is not something I wanted to do.  I went to University because it was the done thing and all my friends went.  However, I do feel sorry for the youth of today, teenagers are the ones being hit by the lack of jobs out there, and then the majority have no chance of affording to buy or rent a property, and have to stay at home with Mum and Dad.  Good for the Students for exercising freedom of speech but do it peacefully.  The general public's support will now falter due to the attack on the Royals, it has gone too far.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Never judge a book by it's cover!

I was really pleased that Stacey Solomon won I am a celebrity get me out of here.  It gave me a personal reminder to never judge a book by it's cover.  When Stacey appeared on the X Factor because of her intination and strong Essex accent we would all be forgiven in thinking she does not come across as a smart and intelligent lady.  I do n't think they teach geography in Essex as I have heard a few celebrities from Essex claiming they do not know where anything is in the world (not Stacey though)!  What she proved on the show that she is exactly that, a smart intelligent, genuinely postive natured person. 

Whilst all the other celebrities were whining and compalining she quite simply got on with it and stood her ground in arguments she even out smarted the  X public school boy Dom Jolly in a heated debate about why people read Hello magazine.  When she pointed out to him whatever you read whether it be a book or a magazine it is about escapism, he was dumb founded when she made her point and could not answer her.  She was even the only person out of the entire group to question Gillian McKeith about her motives for being there if she was that unhappy.  She came across as sincere and most of all likeable.

The great British Public love an under dog, particularly when they shine.  Look at Susan Boyle, everyone laughed at her until we heard her amazing singing voice and now look at her she is one of the few British singers to crack America.

I promise not to talk about TV in my next blog, well it is Winter and there is not much else to do!

Friday, 3 December 2010

This week Australia seems quite appealing!

This week has been very strange.  I was supposed to be going on a business trip to Geneva.  I got up at an ungodly hour to go and consequently got a text from BA saying the flight was cancelled.  Aparently Geneva airport was closed due to that four letter word (dare I mention it snow).  I have since tried to rebook my flights for next week but alas to no avail.  I have been trying to get hold of them for two days.  I tried to rebook via the website and it keeps telling me there is an error, probably because the world and his wife is doing the same. 

I finally got put on hold (this was a result as if you do n't go on hold you get cut off, nice) to speak to someone other than an automated system.  I was then onhold for approximately an hour, it was near to lunchtime and I was starving so gave up.  I will try again over the weekend.

I picked up Mariah Carey from School on Wednesday and not my 6 year old Daughter.  She decided to have lots of diva tantrums, which was delightful.  Both of my Children's rooms were like a bomb site.  My Son to my surprise tidied up his room (okay so I did bribe him with a sweet), and my Daughter instead of doing it incessantly complained about having to do it (my usual tactic of bribary was not working).  I decided to be a firm parent and pushed on through and eventually after much debate, and crying she did it, hoorah!  I was pleased I did as I do not want to do it forever, they have to learn.  I know the easy option is to do it for them, but in the long run they will expect someone else to do it.

I bought a draft excluder today for my front door as until we get our extension we have lots of little drafts in the house.  I hate it when you touch plates and they are freezing cold.  Therefore, due to the cold weather, Australia seems appealing.  I have never considered living there before, and I am not sure if the culture would suit me, but the sunshine would.  I promise I would not complain it was too hot!

It has even been too cold for my newly acquired tweed shorts! 

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

It is snow joke!

It makes me laugh this country's attitude to snow.  The first reaction appears to be panic!  I am really not quite sure why it is so news worthy and that they make these sweeping statements like it is going to go on for weeks.  The last forecast I saw it said it would be getting milder on Saturday? 

The media tends to scaremonger and base most of it's headlines on what is going on in Scotland.  Why is all this snow lark shocking, last time I looked it is called Winter, it happens periodically generally around this time of year. 

I have been told in places like Germany they just get on with it, they have special winter tyres for their cars and are well prepared, in Germany it snows for months, we tend to get it for a week and chaos ensues.

Any way last week I bought two more pairs of shorts, very sensible for this time of year.......Actually, they were Winter ones and can be worn with woolly tights (can't keep a good Woman down!)  I am bored with wearing grey and black jumpers.....bring on the Summer!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

How dare you call Kate a commoner!

I have never been an avid Royalist, but I am quietly content that Prince William will marry Kate Middleton.  I find it outrageous that some people have said she is a commoner and not of the Royal blood line, have they not learnt anything from Charles and Diana?  Charles was allegedly forced to marry Diana due to Royal blood lines and look what happened, he never stopped loving Camilla Parker Bowles who was deemed at the time not good enough to be a princess.
It pleases me to see that the Royal family has evolved into modern times and put all that bloodline rubbish behind them.  Lets face it, Kate is going to have to develop a thick skin to cope with the high profile media attention she will persistently receive.  In the official interview William and Kate looked like a young couple in love which was a stark contrast to the Charles and Diana interview back in the ninteen eighties.  William had a relaxed demeanour and was happy to let Kate speak. 

I wish them all the best and think Kate will make a beautiful princess.  William appears to have a lot of his Mothers charms and normality about him and I had a real sense that he will protect Kate as much as he can from the prevailing media storm which will perpetuate into her life.

Friday, 19 November 2010

The great British public, what a wicked sense of humour you have!

The way the British public votes on reality television shows makes me laugh.  Poor old Gillian Mckeath getting voted to do all of the trials on I am a Celebrity get me out of here.  The issue is that we love to watch a celeb squirm and we are certainly getting our monies worth with Gillian.  After all, we all know she will be getting a huge fat checque for her unfortunate escapades in the jungle.  I am not sure where she thought she was going for the three weeks, Butlins or Centre Parks maybe, as she is overwhelmingly surprised at the basic living in the jungle, much to the glee of the viewers.  She gets flustered when she is near a meagre fly.  You have to question how desperate these so called celebs are for money to put themselves through this.
There is always one we pick on, Jan Leeming and then Jordan or is she Katie Price, Reed, who knows.  We can all see through their thinly vailed excuses to go into the jungle of excuses like, "I would like to experience it,", come on admit it you are doing it for the money and the expectation that you could reinvigorate your flagging media careers.  Some celebs are lucky enough for their careers to have a turn around and some not so fortunate who disappear back into insignificance.  Look at Mylene Klass her career went stellar after we all saw her bikini shower shots.

The poison challice is laid down, a huge fat checque that equates to some peoples earnings for an entire year or a few weeks of creepy crawlies biting your bits.   The Great British public is not stupid, the gauntlet has most certianly been laid down, therefore, we maximise on who will give us the most entertainment.  Everytime, Ant and Dec do the long drawn out suspense of "It might be you," to do the trial my Husband and I sit and laugh as we know it will be Gillian.  We are certainly making her earn her monies worth.

I am not sure who is voting for Wagner in the X Factor.  I personally do not think he is entertaining nor can sing.  It could be the anti disestablishment vote for Simon Cowell that is keeping him in the show.  Again, our entertainment comes from watching the judges heated debates and their surprise at the unpredictability of the British TV audience.  I look forward to another weekend of entertaining reality television.

Today at work I was dressed as Ginger Spice for Children in Need, my work colleages were the rest of the spice girls.  I pinned a Union Jack tea towel to a pair of shorts and a top and bought a tacky red wig with lots of heavy make up, what a treat for the rest of the workforce?

Thursday, 18 November 2010

People who do not want Children

I read an article in a magazine about a lady who does not want Children in case it makes her fat?  Mainly because when she was 19 years old some lad on holiday said she looked Mumsy.  I have heard of people not wanting Children in my time, which is fine as it is their perogative, usually the reasons are because they want to focus on their careers or have lavish holidays, but getting fat?  Come on love get a grip.

Has she not heard of a simple thing called a diet, it works a treat.  She even insulted Julia Roberts in her bikini on a beach and said she had saggy boobs and stretch marks.  How she could see stretch marks in a photo is beyond me.   I thought she looked great in the photograph and has a most enviable figure for a 42 year old.  Again, it is fine to not want Children but to slate people and figures who have is really quite vulgar.  I was so insensed by this woman I had to write to the magazine to comment.

 I can tell I am getting old, this week I thought about buying an electric blanket.  I have even started to find Enrique Iglesas attractive, argggghhhhh.  I think I need help!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Can I hibernate please...just until February?

This week the weather has been awful, therefore I would like to hibernate until February.  I love the sunshine and my Summer clothes.  All I want to do is get home bolt the door, put on my comfy joggy bottoms, watch TV (particularly Strictly, love it, would like to be in it, however I have not figured out away to become famous Just to appear in it, suggestions greatfully received!), drink large cups of tea, and snuggle under my fleece blanket on the sofa.

I have decided it is not natural to wake up the dark and it should be banned.  I have to prise myself out of my comfy warm bed every morning, and it is a struggle.  When it is the school run it miraculously rains either in the morning or at 3 ish, and clears up for the remainder of the day.  I turn up to work looking and feeling like I have been exposed to the elements and forced through a hedge backwards!

Since, I have been in my mini anti Winter protest I have been making up excuses to stay in.  I can not face leaving the house once I am in it.  I look forward to having a warm bath....oh dear I must be getting old!  Staying in is the new going out, well at least until February!

Ps I have broken my sugar addiction, it has taken a pain staking week, but I am there now.  No chocolate or biscuits for me until the festive period and then it is pig out time!  I have decided it is okay to be a bit heavier in the Winter.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Christmas is coming...I am feeling fat!

I tried a pair of jeans on at the weekend, they have always been a snug fit, and I could not do them up.  I have decided to put them in a charity bag.  I did think should I diet to get back in them, but decided against it.  Unfortunately, it is easy to be fat these days rather than thin.  When you look on the side of a cereal packet and it has a third of your daily sugar allowance it demonstrates how easy it is to put on weight.  I truly believe the government should do more to restrict the amount of sugar and salt that goes into our food.

I have given up chocolate and biscuits on a daily basis and will exercise a bit more.  Apparently, eating one biscuit per day can make you put on at least half a stone in a year.  I find if I do not eat chocolate and biscuits I do not want them, but I have to go cold Turkey.  They say a craving takes four weeks to break.  I have to be strong and not reach for the biscuit tin!

I find it very sad these days to see teenagers with rolls of fat hanging over their jeans.  I remember when I was at school there were no over weight Children in my class.  It is definitely concerning as a parent, with the prevalence of eating disorders. 

I definitely think us women have an unrealistic target in our heads to look like an airbrushed Kate Moss.  It is easier for celebrities to be thin, afterall it is their job.  They usually have an entire entourage to cater for their every whim, hence it is easy to find time to exercise when you have a nanny and cleaner.  Plus, it helps to have the odd trip to the surgeon for a bit of liposuction, I would love to exercise more, but with the constraints of family life it is not that easy to squeeze it in.

I will give up my daily fix of chocolate and biscuits until Christmas.  In this country when it is cold all you want to do is eat a bit of something comforting and sweet.  Would n't it be nice if chocolate, biscuits, and cakes were good for you and you never put on a pound!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Boom boom pow...bonfire night.

I had a fantastic firework night.  I went to a friends house with the family, whose garden backs on to a large fireworks display.  I was more excited than the kids.  The display was spectacular and free! 

I had a debate with a mutual friend about who has got the worst kitchen.  We have lived in our house for a year and my kitchen is awful.  It is not small but not big either and there is no room for anything.  It has unattractive yellow wood cupboards contrasted with a dark green work surface, it is in desperate need of a make over.  My dishwasher does not fit under the cupboards and I call it my kitchen island.  One of my best friends having seen both kitchens agreed that mine is the worst. 

That leads me onto my next subject of we are getting an extension, starting in the next few weeks.  Everyone that has ever had any work done to their house has been very quick to let me know about what a nightmare the whole process is, deep joy!

After the firework display had finished we all decided to take our kids down to the fun fair.  I had a fanastic time on the dodgems, even when I decided to get out, as my car was not moving, the lady running the ride was shouting, "Can the lady who has got out the car, please get back in," and had to hit the emergency stop button.  Whoops, at the time I thought that it was a good idea to get out the car, move it and jump back in, then someone pointed out I could have got run over.  Lucky for me I was okay!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Sack the tooth fairy...she is not very good!

Our tooth fairy is rubbish, she keeps forgetting much to the dismay of my Daughter to come and visit and leave some money under her pillow! 

The last time she forgot I had to explain to my disappointed daughter that it was down to cut backs, the credit crunch has hit fiary land quite hard, therefore the usual staffing levels are low, hence the fairy's are tired and have decided to have a strike about pay and conditions!  The strike evidently coincided with the day my Daughter's tooth fell out, I know it was a shame.  Small Children get really upset about this sort of thing. 

Thankfully, after a short negotiation with the Trade Unions of fairys they managed to negotiate a better pay deal and are now back on track! (yes she did look a bit bewildered at my complicated explaination).

I was absolutely outraged, and I hope it does not happen again in the future!
Written by a forgetful Mummy, whoops!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

My turn on the naughty step aged 37 years and 3/4

The experts are telling us we are the softest generation of parents that has ever been. In the Victorian day, the cane existed at school for naughty Children, and I have heard stories of three generations ago them being locked in cold cellars when they were naughty. Today we have the naughty step!

I am guilty of being soft too! Our Children are emotionally intelligent enough to know where to push our buttons. If they want something they do not stop until they get it and then we are faced with the option of ruin the entire day or give in. The later is the easier option in the short term.

Yesterday, I took my Children and my Niece swimming. You go to all the effort of packing the bag getting the kids ready, dragging the heavy bag to the pool, the kids are unbearably excited, and then my niece did not have a pair of goggles and had a mini tantrum. You are then wondering why you bothered to go to all the effort of giving the Children a fun time. My fabulous Sister-in-law first of all said no and then realised that it would ruin the entire day, gave in and got the goggles. She is an incredibly astute intelligent, and successful lady and put it aptly, “I am time poor, so when I get time to spend with my Daughter, it is not worth it to me to be ruined over a £3.99 pair of goggles,”. I had not thought of this before and realised she has a valid point. Is the fact that we are time poor and the general fast pace of life the reason why we give into them so easily.

Our generation does appear to have an inability to say no to our Children, I have witnessed it with friends too. I am not declaring that I have the answers as I am just as bad as everyone else. Our only form of punishment thanks to Super Nanny is the naughty step. Our Nanny state says that “thou shall not smack thy Child”, as it is a heinous crime, punishable by other people angrily glaring at you.

I thought I would give the naughty step ago, to my calculation I would have to stay on it for 37 minutes, as it is one minute for every year of your life. I use the first step on my stairs. I sat there for the entire time and it is really boring, time stands still and it feels like you are on there for longer, more like a few hours, it did feel like a punishment. In future if my Husband is naughty I might put him on it!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Trick or Treat......treat please....

Treat please, a nice Mulberry handbag will do!

I have got some sweets ready for trick or treaters tonight, part of me wants to hide at the back of the house.  You hear some horrible stories about trick or treating.  My Husband told me on the radio there was a lady who bought sweets, but towards the end of the evening last year had run out.  A group of youngsters came around who were too old to be trick or treating, she apologised and told them she had ran out of sweets.  They returned later on that night and threw eggs at her house.  That is taking it too far. 

That is the reason I want to hide in the loft with my ipad in case there is a group of youngsters who are out to cause trouble and not for fun.  I can understand why the elderly are fretful today.  It does feel intrusive and intimidating when a gang of teenagers knocks on your door with masks on.  I find it intimidating at my age.

I will try to get into the spirit of it with my sweets......pun pun.!

Confusinginly enough the clocks changed last night, it takes me at least a week to adjust.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Wear it Pink day today! Get your pink on!

It is National Wear it pink day to day for Breast Cancer Awareness.  I have arranged a collection at work and will be going in to shake my bucket. 

My next challenge for myself is to run the mad March Hare next year, for Break Through.  It is a 10k run and I have already roped a few freinds in to do it with me. 

I love running and have raised money for Charity in the past.  I have ran the London Marathon, which was an amazing experience, and done a couple of half marathons, never done a 10k.  There is something really humbling about raising money for charity.  Love it.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

My Pearly whites

I went to the Dentist this week, I thought I needed a filling. I have not been for years, I was fearing the worst. I have used a lot of teeth whitening kits and was scared the Dentist might tell me my teeth were ruined due to my endeavour to have a smile like Cheryl Cole or any one of The Saturdays (I want to be in The Saturdays!)on a budget. I get my teeth whitening kits from a friend who is a stunning Slovakian lady, she always looks immaculate, a definite inspiration on the looking glam front. She knows how to take care of herself. I can not even read the packaging as it is in Slovakian!  Good stuff though, does the job nicely.

Luckily, all of my fears were unfounded and the Dentist said I have great teeth and I did not need a filling, it was a small gum infection, however, my Daughter had to have a filling on a baby tooth. Ouch, that hurt, felt like a bad Mum!

I have just seen The Saturdays on GMTV, love'em!  They make me smile, sprinkle the joy!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Katie Pratt - Rest in Peace

I have just read some really sad news.  A Mother of Two, Katie Pratt lost her battle with skin Cancer.  From her photographs from her blog she was a beautiful lady.  Having gone through Cancer myself I know part of her journey.  It is really difficult to go through any sort of illness with small Children.

Cancer can be a devastating illness, and anyone who has had it, will understand you have to find your own way through it and formulate your own answers.  That is the difficult part about Cancer, the fact that no-one can tell you why it happens.  It is a journey and you drag all of your loved ones and friends with you whether they like it or not. 

I have now discovered my love of writing that I never had before.  I am loving writing my blog and my novel.  I live in the now and rejoice every single day, as none of us really know what will happen tomorrow or next week.  That does not mean that I fear it, I take every opportunity to enjoy my life and do as I please.

shop-a-holic who moi?

I love to shop, I am terrible for buying new clothes and yes you guessed it, I still don’t have anything to wear and much to the dismay of my Husband my wardrobe is bulging at the seams. He has a couple of suits in the double wardrobe an the rest is all mine, he has to keep his clothes in tubs under the bed. I alternate my Summer and Winter wardrobe in the loft. I buy lots in the Summer, I love shorts, and playsuits even in the Winter I am thinking thick tights with shorts. I am not sure if a Woman my age can get away with it, but I am past caring. I have put myself on a self-imposed credit crunch shopping ban. The only way I can stop myself spending money is by not going anywhere near any shops.

I buy the magazines and every week I look at up and coming trends and in my head I am choosing my next purchases. I am definitely feeling the pinch at the moment, petrol and food has gone up and lets face it none of our salaries over the past 3 years are matching it. I have developed a habit of vicariously shopping through other people, with a limited time for shopping with Children, I have to target my efforts. Young Children and shopping is not a good match. Anyone wearing anything I like, I ask them how much and where they got it. I even ask random strangers in the Street. You just can’t keep a good Woman shopper down!

I am now thinking out each purchase carefully, do I already have a black pair of jeans, if the answer is yes, why do I need another pair? I think all of us intelligent ladies have realised that Primark is the new Prada. I view myself as Mrs Average on the clothes front, I wear something to death for a few months and then I am bored and want something new. I do have classic items in my wardrobe, such as Ralph Lauren and Ted Baker shirts and tops that are great for work. I always buy my labels from outlet stores and bide my time, if I want something, I am like a vulture waiting to pounce, I check how many sizes are there and monitor their sales, if they are not selling well I wait until sale time. I always ask the shop assistants when the next sales start. I love a bargain. If something is not a timeless classic then it has to be cheap.

With my credit crunch head on I am going to use my current jumpers in my wardrobe and accessorize with woolly tights and junk jewellery. I must say thank you to Gok Wan for helping me transform outfits with accessorizes. I always wear a scarf, it totally jazzes up a plain black or grey jumper. I am now trying to grips with belts, not quite there yet, but I keep trying.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Tracey - confessions of a Mother of Two: Anyone for a Jamie Oliver party?

Tracey - confessions of a Mother of Two: Anyone for a Jamie Oliver party?: "Am I the only one who groans when they receive an invitation to a Jamie Oliver party? You have got some great friends, who you socialise wit..."

House work, someone could have told me!

I never realised until I had two Children how much house work you have to do.  I work part-time and do 21 hours per week.  I have to pick up after four people, every day, myself, my Husband, and then my Children.  It is most certainly a one woman show.  If I try to get the Children to pick up after themselves they complain and whinge incessantly, not that it stops me. I have to emotionally blackmail them into doing it and shout a lot.  Then there is a lack lustre attempt at doing the task they are duly charged with.  If I ask my Husband to do something I get a bemused look and, I have to ask at least ten times and then I am a nag!

I have trained myself to be more tidy, every time I change my clothes, I either put them away or in the wash bin.  I have realised you have to complete an entire action, i.e., clean washing upstairs, put it away, do not leave on the bed, as I will only keep passing it and think I must put that away.  It makes two tasks out of one.  Now, I am trying to train my Children to do the same, not an easy task.  It takes hours to tidy up my Daughter’s bedroom, putting all those annoying small pieces of games away and clothes.  It makes using the vacuum cleaner a mammoth task. 

I go around to other people’s houses who have children and their homes look like Museums, not a thing out of place, neat and tidy.  I have absolutely no idea how they achieve such high standards.  When I am at home I am constantly doing something, the washing pile is a constant daily battle.  I love being a Mum, but no one told me how much cleaning up was involved and I find it monotonous, boring and no-one says thank you!