Sunday, 29 April 2012

Independents Day

Here we are on a very windy and wet 29th of the month and our third #IndependentsDay.  Although its a Sunday I thought I would still go ahead as I know most (if not all ) independent businesses work 7 days a week.  No shutting up shop or day of rest for us.


I was interested to listen to a discussion on the radio last week about a new term that has come about  called "zig zagging" .  The phrase was coined by Sir Mervyn King, The Governor of The Bank of England and refers to the ups and downs in the recovery of the UK economy. 

The programme discussed how when we talk the economy down, it affects shoppers habits and  people stop spending.  When the economy is talked up, they start spending again !  Not rocket science is it ?

I have always felt that too much negativity on the news and tv has a detrimental effect on peoples spending patterns.  They get frightened and become cautious.  So would it really be as simple as just being more positive ?  Why is the only new bad news ?

Here are the wonderful hard working businesses I am featuring this week.

LindleyWoods - Original Handmade products

Swings and Pretty Things - Inspirational gift ideas

Showler and Showler - beautifully illustrated Art prints and postcards

Trunk Reclaimed - Makers of bespoke furniture from reclaimed wood


Any type of independent business or even if you have a favourite one you love to support you can join in.
If you have a blog, please write a short post mentioning and linking to three or so independent businesses  you follow, buy from or just plain admire. You can of course link to your own business if you want to. Its all about building up the traffic to help people find our businesses.

Leave a comment below with a link to your blog so we can all pop over and take a look. It would be really great if you would link back to this post.


Tweet about the independent businesses you are supporting and mentioning the hashtag #IndependentsDay

Link or share this or your own post on your Facebook page and encourage others to share


Link up your business below

You don't have to be an independent business to get involved or have a blog. Comments, tweets and Facebook mentions will all help enormously.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

How Low Maintenance are you ?

It occurred to me today as I was "putting on my makeup" I use that term loosely as I am not, and have never been big on wearing makeup, and that actually I really am very low maintenance.  I thought it might be fun and probably quite shocking for some people, to see the contents of my makeup bag.  People like MostlyYummy might not want to look at this post.  I  feel for sure she will be horrified !

I have never been a girly girl although I have tried in the past.  I remember the red lipstick day.  EVERYBODY was wearing red lipstick  with smokey eyes and pale skin.  Luscious, red slashes across their face making them look glamorous and grown up.  Me ?  I just looked liked Coco the clown, and it stained my bloody lips.  I couldn't get it off for about two days.  Comments of " have you cut your lip ?"  and  "Have you been eating an ice lolly ? "

What ! Too much ?

Then there were the good old 1980's when it was really cool to wear blue eye liner with pink eyelids.  I can do this one I thought.  The blue actually looked OK with my blue eyes.  It was probably the blue mascara that was a touch too far !  At the time I was living with a man who thought every evening after work had to start in the local pub (in those days you could still smoke in them too). 
The result ?  Eyes watering so badly from sitting amongst the smokers trying to look grown up and sophisticated but actually having rivers of blue running down my cheeks.  I looked like my blue eyes were in fact melting !

Or the time the same man decided we would stay over in London after going to the theatre.  Being the low maintenance girl I was I only had a Tampax and a pink blusher in my handbag.  Result , Blusher on my cheeks, lips and eyelids the next morning.  I thought I looked OK swanning out of a five star hotel in my evening clothes, killer heels and pink panther face.  The staff on the other hand just gave each other knowing sideways looks.  Another businessman with his hooker!

Anyway, so here are the contents of my makeup bag (look away MostlyYummy) .  Makeup bag is actually one of those in flight pouch things you are given when you fly first class with British Airways!  Not me of course, stolen from my mother's house.  She has cupboards full of them. 

Contents :

Big silver thing at the top - retractable blusher brush another donation from mothers house

Gold thing underneath -  is actually a touche eclat I picked up at the airport on my way out on honeymoon ! yep, it is actually nearly 9 yrs old.  Didn't work for me, just made me look like Donald Trump with big white patches around my eyes.  Can't bring myself to throw it away ! It was SO expensive.

Pretty red round tin - Cherry lip gloss included in the goody bag from the first Cybermummy I think.  Do use it sometimes but just end up licking the sticky stuff off.

Lacura Blusher and Mascara - best value makeup that suits my pocket

Teeny pencil - my grey eyeliner, how Small can YOU go ?

Blue Shark pencil sharpener stolen from the twins, AND it still sharpens the eye pencil !

That's it.  What do you think, can you improve on my low maintenance makeup bag ?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Pixie Dixie joins All About The Boys

I am thrilled to introduce you to the second great British brand to join the All About The Boys website.  Pixie Dixie sell high quality childrens pajamas and sleepwear.

All items from rompers to bath robes feature iconic British images including a Grenadier Guard, Black Taxi, Policeman, Mini Cooper and red London Bus.

From newborn to 8 years all items are made in 100% jersey cotton for comfort and durability.

Please pop over and take a look, I would love to know what you think.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Isn't it about time she was back at work !

Just about three weeks ago a friend of mine who had been feeling unwell for sometime had a massive heart attack.  She was clinically dead for two minutes, if it wasn't for the fact her mum happened to pop round to her home that morning and the professional work of the ambulance crew she would not be here today. 

This friend is a young 38 year old mum of two small children.  Heart attacks are rare in this group of people.

Prior to the heart attack she knew she wasn't too well, she visited the doctor on several occasions to be told it was probably gas or heartburn.  Nothing to worry about.  She was sent away with nothing more than a condescending pat on the back and a few "don't be such a hypochondriac " type comments.

She has since told me that she feels terrible guilt over these visits, that she should have "known" she was ill, she should have insisted she was taken seriously.  But how could she ?  Would you query the "advice" of a GP ?

Just because heart attacks are rare in young women doesn't mean they don't happen.

She had emergency key hole surgery through a tiny hole in her thigh, a stent was fitted and she was discharged within a week with a huge haul of drugs. 

In shock, at home she tells me that its hard to believe it actually happened.  Showing me the bruises, needle and plaster marks almost as if by showing me I too will believe that this beautiful, vibrant young woman had indeed had a heart attack.

Now here is the real issue.  I visited her today and she looks so much worse than when I saw her last week.  She is really suffering emotionally. People are expecting her to be "back to normal" to be "coping"  People are even hinting that she should be back at work ! 

I am horrified by this, she is suffering so much.  Has so much fear that it might happen again, that she might die in her sleep and I can't help her.  I really feel that if she had a huge scar down her chest where they had cut her open to repair her heart she would have been given the time she needed to recover not only from the surgery but also the time to rest to recover her emotional scars.

I really, really want to help this lovely lady so please, please if you have any experience of heart attacks in young mothers or any advice at all to give from a personal experience I really feel it would help her to recover.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Give Up Clothes for Good

When I saw on the Tots100 that they were supporting Cancer Research UK and T K Maxx with the Give up clothes for good campaign I immediately knew which items of clothing I was going to donate.

The Give up Clothes for good is in its fifth year and is the UK's biggest charity collection raises much needed money for research into beating children's cancer.  They are hoping to raise £12.5 million by the end of 2012 . 

All you have to do is donate a quality item of clothing you no longer wear.  We all have clothes in our wardrobes we love but know we will never wear again either because no matter how much we kid ourselves, we are just never going to slim down to a size eight EVER again or because are we REALLY going to wear those rainbow harem pants again ?

Last year I was really, really lucky to get into the final of the MAD's  and part of the experience was an amazing day out at John Lewis where I was treated to a wonderful outfit to wear to the ceremony.  Here I am in all my glory on the red carpet at the MAD's.  I love this outfit and felt a million dollars on the night. 

Time for it to move on to help a really worthy cause.

Please, please take part too.  Just find a piece of clothing, write a quick post (only take you a few minutes) and link it up to the Tots100 Carnival.

Take the item of clothing along to your local TK Maxx during April.  The clothes are then sorted, tagged and sold throughout Cancer Research UK Stores to raise the money.  EVERY penny raised will go towards the fight against cancer in children.

A really useful gift

I received an offer recently that couldn't have come at a better time.  Trutex contacted me offering me uniform for the twins.  My boys are world champions when it comes to wearing out the knees in their school uniform trousers.  I swear they move around school on their knees not their feet.

The lovely people at Trutex sent us a pair of trousers and a polo shirt each for the boys. 

Jarvis was just not getting in the zone for this particular photo shoot !  Nothing says "I don't want my photo taken" than round shoulders.

Many thanks to Trutex for the uniform, the quality is so much better than the cheap supermarket uniform we have been buying.  I'll let you know if it stands up to the knee test.

*We were sent the uniform to review and keep, we were not paid for this post and the content is mine.

Monday, 2 April 2012

30 years ago today...

I remember exactly what I was doing.  Do you ?

I know, because I was lying in a Military hospital bed in Northern Ireland in a bed next to a beautiful 21 yr old girl who had been shot in the back and legs six times . 

We were told that Argentina had invaded the Falkland Islands.

Like many people at the time we were a bit confused.  The Falklands ? isn't that above Scotland somewhere ? why would the Argentinians invade there ?  We soon found out where it actually was. 

I don't want to get into the politics or history of the situation, all I know is the people side of why.

As a serving soldier I was involved in the Northern Ireland and the Falklands conflict. I served with the Intelligence corps in Northern Ireland and came into contact with the "ordinary" people.  In the Falklands I spent R & R with a family, I spent time in Port Stanley, I listened to their views, their hopes and dreams.

 For me at that time it was simple.  We were there to defend people who were British, who thought of themselves as British, who spoke English, who wanted to be part of Britain.  That simple, whatever your views or politics it really was that simple.


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