Thursday, 29 November 2012
Written a post about beauty, be it reviewing your favourite products, recommending Christmas beauty must-haves, or talking winter skin care?
Want to be included on the Britmums blog Christmas beauty round-up?
Email me, tweet me or facebook me using the lovely coffee cup icons over on the right. Or if you are on the mobile web, and can't see those lovely coffee cups, then a) get back to a PC to enjoy the full website, and b) share your links with me via Twitter @ymummyreally or by adding your links to the comments below.
You have until Saturday 29th December (deadline extended!) to point me to your posts. Get writing!
PS. I am writing these posts using the Android App this week. I can't believe I am now a regular raver of Apps. I still don't have a tablet though, so if anyone fancies sending me one... Feel free.
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Regular readers will be aware that I started working full time this month, not just in my existing job, but in an entirely new organisation in a promoted post. It's something of a challenge, and I am currently at the "whose stupid idea was this?" stage.
I have a zillion and one new work things flying around my head, along with a zillion and two different mum-related tasks like "take tombola prize to school for the Christmas fair", "drop off eldest at Christmas disco", "ensure Christmas colouring competition entries are handed into school on time", "write Christmas cards", "arrange trip to Santa's Grotto", "remember which day is mufti day at school", "listen to eldest read her reading books twice a week", "remember to do maths homework with eldest", "pay for gymnastics lessons", "take back library books"........I could go on and on and on, but you get the idea.
All that is on top of the daily food shopping, meal prepping, pot washing jobs. I've already opted to buy in 2 hours of cleaning and 2 hours of ironing each week: and still I don't stop until 10pm, at which point I try and find half an hour of TV, but inevitably fall asleep within 5 minutes.
Life throws these challenges at us. Life has decided to throw a surprise work challenge at my husband this month too, meaning he is working 12 hour days at the moment. Something we couldn't have planned for and which hopefully won't continue for too long.
The result of all this is that my blog is not getting the attention it deserves as I am obviously prioritising family time. I will continue to post when I can, and want to say a huge thank you to all readers. Please please bear with me.
I will also consider guest posts from other bloggers at this time. If you are a blogger and a parent and would like to write a piece on how you stay yummy, or not, please email it me for consideration.
Many thanks all. Stay yummy!
Monday, 19 November 2012
Remember when you used to get school reports that told you how well, or not, you were doing?
Feedback is always useful, but todays feedback from my four year old wasn't great. I drove through the countryside, up and down hills and winding lanes to get from work to her Nursery by 4pm.
In my previous, part time work, I would have picked her up half an hour early having collected her older sister from school.
But now, in my full time role, I cannot leave until 3.30pm, meaning I can collect her on time, but no longer early. I feel like I should emphasise the "on time" bit there.
Tonight, when I collected her, I was a few minutes later than other mums but still "on time" and so she wasn't the first child to be picked up.
She wasn't happy.
"Hello lovely" I said. "Have you had a nice day?"
She frowned at me and didn't answer.
"Oh dear," I said. "What's the matter".
Her bottom lip came out and she spoke in that quiet whiny voice that all parents know and love.
"I wanted you to be first" she whined.
Great. I had rushed out of work so that she could be picked up at normal time and can therefore be home for tea, and it still wasn't good enough.
My school report for the day? "Must try harder".
I suspect that report won't change much!
Sunday, 18 November 2012
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Saturday, 10 November 2012
"Today has been a tricky day. Not in any grand sense; it's not like we've been fighting dragons or juggling eggs, we'll save those fun activities for some other time; no, it's just been a little tricky.
It was interesting to read back to this post, drafted over 6 months ago and never published, because this week I started back at work, in a new job, full time. Yes. Let me repeat that - FULL TIME!
The youngest isn't at school yet - that excitement will have to wait until September - but a brilliant opportunity came up and I went for it.
Interestingly I haven't felt particularly guilty this week. The eldest is absolutely thrilled at being able to stay at After School Club with her mates for an hour after school. On Thursdays I can now pick them up earlier, weirdly, as I'm not trying to shove work hours into fewer days, and the hubby has seen more of the girls and been able to attend his first parents evening.
All in all, going back full time seems to have forced us to create a better balance of childcare and be more organised on the logistics front (I already know at least 6 different routes to work, and have properly started meal planning, which is incredibly useful as it resulted in a slow-cookered meal being ready for us after work!)
And, I feel more like myself again. The intellectual challenge will mean that I sleep well!
So how do you manage working and parenting? Any tips? Feel free to share them below.
Sunday, 4 November 2012
With the success of brain training games over the last few years, it comes as no surprise that Mensa have released their very own computer game; Mensa Academy, available on Nintendo® Wii™ and 3DS™, Windows PC platforms, and in the near future for mobile and tablets.
I was lucky enough to try it out on an iPad at the Britmums 2012 event in London. It's great fun on the iPad. Click the correct picture to complete the pattern as fast as you can, click the right shape, numerical answer.. etc....There are 100+ mini-games, puzzles and challenges with play, test and coach modes. It was very easy to use and I immediately saw how much fun it would be for the whole family.
But it's not available for mobile and tablet yet, so when I was offered the chance to try out the PC version, I jumped at it.
Unfortunately I was a little disappointed by the PC version. The games are the same, but have been designed with touchscreens in mind so using a cursor slows down your response times considerably. Not only that, but the cursor doesn't seem to function well on the game. It bunny hops across the screen despite our cursor usually working fine.
My 6 year old daughter was excited about playing the games, but got more and more frustrated with the lack of decent cursor control until eventually, after about 6 separate game session across a couple of months, she gave up and hasn't asked to play it since.
I've had more of a play, but am similarly frustrated with the PC version.
So our advice: get this for a touchscreen, be it a tablet or phone. It really is a great game, but is spoilt by it's clunkiness (I don't care if that's a proper word or not; it works) on the PC.
A copy of the Mensa Academy computer game for PC was provided free for the purpose of this honest review.
Mensa Academy is developed by Silverball Studios and Barnstorm Games and published by Square Enix Europe
Friday, 2 November 2012
The good news is that it's the easiest time of the year to keep children entertained with craft activities. Search for Christmas crafts on google and you are inundated with options.
My favourite find this year is the Activity Village Christmas scrapbook papers. Simply download the A4 sheets of Christmas themed paper and print. These reindeer's are lovely and are just one example of a vast range.
Be warned though; I used up all my colour cartridge printing about 18 sheets!*
And one further warning; this site has colouring sheets, word searches, advent calender templates, craft ideas galore.... you might need to grab a cuppa before you start browsing.
*Note: This is not a sponsored post. I just love the website. and wanted to share.