Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

How to Plan and Host a Perfect Child’s Party.

There is so much pressure these days for children’s parties to be all singing, all dancing, bank breaking, stress causing nightmares.
Because I like to think of myself as a helpful soul, I have put together a handy list of how to plan and host the perfect party.
Get a note pad!

1) Have a broken boiler for the week of the birthday when you will have an absolute house full, loads of dishes and washing.

1b) Make absolutely certain that, when bathing the children round your sisters, the little little slips, flails around like a fish out of water and slits her lip covering both you and her in blood.

2) Ensure that, whilst making the party jellies, the birthday girl falls backwards off her chair, bashes her head on the kitchen island and is beside herself for the remainder of the evening.

2b) Read the NHS guidance and phone a friend to geek up on head injuries and behave like a cat on a hot tin roof for the rest of the night.

3) Do not confirm your cake order.

3b) Momentarily consider making your own.

3c) Change knickers having wet yourself laughing.

3d) Make sure you forget at least one item each time you go to the supermarket and, when you go for the final time, en masse, be careful to make sure that the birthday girl sees all of the shop cakes and selects the only one that you utterly despise.

3c) Pretend that you are a cool, easy going Muma and put the chosen cake in the trolley.

3d) When you arrive at the tills, do a bit of sick in your mouth, sprint back to the cake section and swap for a cake of your choice.
**make sure you behave like a total,neurotic! controlling weirdo.**

If, and only if, you are able to achieve all of the above. There is a chance that, the party will go absolutely swimmingly.
Do not take an iota of credit for this.
It is down to good weather, awesome, clever, well prepared, accommodating friends and plentiful wine.

In my brain now, I will begin planning and preparing for future parties way, way in advance. Why not have a read of this blog on 11th January to see how absolutely nothing has changed!! :-)

Best of luck with yours.
Loads of love,

Muma.

XxxX

1 Comment »

A second Royal Baby and a Britmums Carnival?! It’s all going on here.

Evening All,

I am so sorry for the exceptionally late posting of this, my very first Britmums Carnival; I probably won’t be asked again. The truth is I signed up months ago with the very best of intentions and then promptly forgot…Sorry.

We’ve had a manic week (which frankly now seems to be my tag line) and it is only thanks to the lovely Mari that we got here at all so thank you my dear. I am so pleased to see you had a good day in Paris, check out everything Mari squeezed into 1 day here- I am booking a ticket! The gawjus Domestic Godess needs our help- how can she fly without nerves? any suggestions will be gratefully received I am sure!

Anyway, since my tweets and Facebook messages have gone out asking you to share your posts with me you have responded in your droves and, since I didn’t set a theme the blend is delightfully eclectic.

Since Kate and Wills have just shared their happy news, I thought I would share with them (they subscribe, natch!) my tale on bathtimes once you have two… 

Here’s what the rest of you had to say…Enjoy. Don’t forget to try and leave a comment on those that you read- we all love a bit of blog love!

Suzanne at 3 Children and It is kicking things off with her series on Life Rules; today we’re talking LIES…uh oh!!

Next up is something that has been causing some debate in our home- not massively sure why since none of us are Scottish but, here’s what Ellen at In a Bun dance has to say; what do you reckon?

Sims Life shares some breathtaking photos of her trip to Can Franc in Spain. It looks incredible and the pictures add yet more weight to my plan to ask for a photographic evening class for Christmas; simply beautiful.

Donna over at Mummy Central is tackling a massive issue and one sure to cause a few sharp in takes of breath…For what it’s worth Donna, I agree but, if you want to know what we’re talking about you’ll have to nip over there and see!

I really loved Michelle’s post about her life long search which ended in 2002, if you are of the opinion that Christians are ” a bunch of nutters, all loons that wear socks and sandals”, you might just need to check out her take on things!

I know that many of you will be adjusting to life as the parents of a secondary aged child and Sarah who blogs at Mum of Three is thinking about what the year ahead will hold for her son; yup, Year 6 is pretty major!  Emma, at Emma and Three agrees, don’t take your foot of the gas people! At the other end of primary school, Nikki at Stressy Mummy gave me a lump in my throat talking about her little girls first day at school. That’ll be my girls before we know it. I hope they cope as well.

Talking of school, Cass at The Diary of a Frugal Family talks about the importance of a peaceful homework space. Agreed! When I was nannying I saw so many families who were paying thousands for private education squeeze homework in last thing on Sunday night or before the school bus, Seriously Stressful! Get it done and out of the way I say…until we get there!!

Carrying on with the education theme Joy, at Pink Oddy is writing about how we can do our bit to help the poorest children learn to read. I could not agree with this more. Reading and all education can open so many doors for all and we need to make sure everyone has that opportunity.

I know at least 3 mums who will be desperate to read Liz’ post on how to throw the perfect Frozen party; I realise that I am about to get in all sorts of trouble for this but…we’ve never seen it!!! duh duh duh…I think we’ll save that for one of the many windy, rainy Sundays that are heading our way later in the year. If you have a Frozen obsessed child though- this will be a winner!

One of said mums id the frankly hilarious Kirsty at Ehhbaamum. If you’re concerned your blog ratings are slipping, check out her advice on how to write a great blog and you’ll be hitting the Top Ten lists in no time…maybe!

My final post is from the only guy in the group, Dave at The DADventurer (I see what you’ve done there!) This is hilarious look at life from the blokes perspective. Anyone who can get the words hooters, rack and baps into one paragraph deserves a read and perhaps a light slap!

I hope that you find time to check out these offerings; they have brightened my day and introduced me to lots of fab new blogs that I’ll be keeping a close eye on in the future!

See you next time.

Muma.

XxxX

4 Comments »

Tutu’s & Teepees.

When one reaches a certain age, it is considered unbecoming of a lady to prance down the street in a tutu.
Don’t ask me why, it just is. And, since I don’t want to be judged in the way in which I judge adults that wear Disney items or those weird fleeces with wolves on, for now at least I am conforming with societies expectations. Call me weak, it’s just the way it is.It is for this exact reason that I am now living out my fashion (and all other) dreams, vicariously through my delicious offspring.So, for this birthday, the only worthwhile gifts we could possibly get our daughter were:

  • A teepee (or 2!)
  • A tutu and
  • Some very fierce shoes.

Who doesn’t want to read magical tails in a wonderful den whilst channelling your inner awesome?

I’ll tell you who. No one.

little me teepee review

All set up for the Birthday Girl.

littleme teepee

Bedhead birthday cuddles.

If you go down to the woods today...

If you go down to the woods today…

 

...You're sure of a big surprise!

…You’re sure of a big surprise!

 

You'd better be in disguise.  (or at least an amazing outfit!)

You’d better be in disguise.
(or at least an amazing outfit!)

Or two...  check out the sulk!

Or two…
check out the sulk!

Catching some massive bubbles!

Catching some massive bubbles!

check out the tutu and boots combo!!

check out the tutu and boots combo!!

 

Thank you so, so much to everyone who made our Birthday weekend such a special one- proper Thank you’s to follow…probably!

And, for all those wondering where these items of amazingness hail from; you can get them here:

Tutu- so soft it is basically like wearing a cloud: Angels face

Bother Boots- The one and only Dr Martens, obvs.

Indoors Teepee- The wonderful Janine at Littleme Teepee

Teddybears Picnic Tent- The delightful, nothing on this earth is too much bother, Katie at The Celebration Tent

 

Happy Monday People!

Muma.

XxxX

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A Birthday Promise.

Holy Cow.
How’s this happened? I have a 3 year old daughter.

A real, live 3 year old person that I am actually responsible for.

I’m a 3rd of a century myself actually so it shouldn’t come as any major surprise but now, rather than being the one rolling their eyes at the ‘haven’t you/they grown’ comments, I’m the one making them and, yet again, I have made a rod for my own back by beginning with this whole flipping birthday blog/poem situation.
Honestly, it’s days like this when I think that communists and Jehovah’s have got it nailed; One choice of paint colour and no birthday cake to make or presents to chose- what’s not to love?! *

Anyhow, I’m in it now so I’d better cobble something together lest I look like a shoddy, don’t give a toss parent. Read the rest of this entry »

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This is 40…Oh God, is it??!

Last night I watched This is 40.

It is described on IMDB as a comedy. 

Let me tell you, it is not a comedy. It is a horror. It is basically The Hills Have Eyes for parents.

BITE ME!

BITE ME!

I am scared, and scarred!

If you are 40, anywhere near 40 or perhaps thinking of starting a family at any point in the future please do not watch this.

It depicts a couple constantly at each others throats who very occasionally remember that once upon a time they had a different life and they were happier.

GREAT! Thanks for that.

Does it all work out brilliantly in the end; um, not so much. The guy gets knocked off his bike and breaks a rib, the gal gets unexpectedly pregnant and is far from thrilled about it.

YEY- Real feel good film.

AGAIN;  BITE ME.

AGAIN;
BITE ME.

 

Obviously, it is possible that I am a little hyper sensitive about this whole thing at the moment. My exciting work contract has come to an end and, on opening an email about mortgage rates and all that jazz the dreadful realization finally dawned;

My CV is like a dot the dot, I have yet to make anything of myself AT ALL and, out of sheer desperation this morning I entered the Lorraine win £60,000 competition!! It’s a slippery slope people.

So, I was lamenting my predicament to someone who shall remain nameless. Their advice;

Grow up, Suck it up and get a job that you hate like the rest of the population. 

Marvelous and life affirming advice.

I’m off to play join the dots, I mean work on my CV.

Let me know if you can think of any awesome jobs that fit a dysfunctional, neurotic and slightly mental 30 something…I’m sure offers will come flooding in…

Muma.

XxxX

PS- If you have come out the other side of the madness please let me know and prevent me from shooting myself in the face. Thanks very much!!

PPS- Please don’t get out the worlds smallest violin, I know that I am actually very, very lucky but sometimes everyone just needs a moan.

PPPS- I’m linking this post up with Vicky’s #BrilliantBlog linky.
Check out who else has linked up, there’s some really good stuff there!

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

9 Comments »

It’s Good to Talk; especially with Vonage.

Evening All,

Happy 1st September to you! My favorite month of the year; It’s all back to school, new books, new possibilities and all that jazz, it’s also mine and the big littles birthday- yey for the Autumn.

I have been a little light on the old blog fodder of late, I’m sure you’ve noticed and calls to The Samaritans have increased as a direct result but, the thing is, I’ve been busy with the new ventureFabulous Frost Fair, Hillbark Hotel

I know, first I steal the last few days of summer with my talk of Autumn and now, to add insult to injury, I have set up a business specializing in the magic of Christmas; Sorry I’m not sorry!

Anyway, this has been taking up a lot of my time and, has involved much chatting to local businesses and so on. How fortuitous therefore that Vonage were looking for bloggers to test their low cost business plan which allows you to turn your broadband into a phone line, giving you much lower phone costs with high quality calls. I was on it pretty sharpish.

Frankly, who doesn’t want an excuse to purchase a second phone that looks like this;

Dog and Bone... Get it?!

Dog and Bone…
Get it?!

 

Anyway, on to the serious stuff. I had never heard of Vonage previously and wasn’t sure what to expect but the product and the customer service has been excellent.

  • Installation was idiot proof, there are minimal wires and connections to make and the box itself is small and unobtrusive.

    The whole kit and caboodle. Teeny!

    The whole kit and caboodle. Teeny!

  • You can select your own number (inc dialing code) so you can have a number which relates to your customer base even if that is not the area which you work out of.
  • The quality of the sound is top notch, no issues with crackles and breaking up though on some occasions this would have been useful…”We sell Dog and Bone novelty phones and would love to exhibit at your event” a quick “Sorry, I’m afraid you’re breaking up” is always welcome during such conversations!
  • You can transfer calls to your mobile so you can receive calls when you are away from your desk.

The plan I have been using with Vonage includes the following which, for £15.00 a month I think is incredibly reasonable; particularly since my most recent phone bills had been hitting the £60 mark…

- unlimited UK landline calls
– unlimited calls to 68 countries
– 250 min to UK mobiles, 3p a minute thereafter
– use your calling plan on your home phone and smartphone
– a dedicated second phone line with no installation costs
– your choice of UK number and area code (as your second line)”

One downside is that at the moment, Vonage have an offer on which actually includes a handset so, sadly for me, there was no need for a new Dog ‘n’ Bone.

If you do have your own business or are thinking of setting one up, I would definitely recommend checking out Vonage and, whilst you’re at it, why not look for a novelty phone to go with your plan- anything to make the office more fun hey!

They were acceptable in the '80's!

They were acceptable in the ’80’s!

Happy Chatting!

Muma.

XxxX

PS- If you are a business and would like a stall at The Fabulous Frost Fair, you can find all the details you need on our website: www.fabulousfrostfair.co.uk/

PPS- I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent
bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for
Mumsnet. As such, I did not pay for this service but, as ever, all views are my own and I retain both editorial control and integrity.

PPPS- For more details on Vonage and their various deals and plans click here http://www.vonage.co.uk/call-plans/plans/

PPPPS- Kidding, I’m done! xx

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Shhhh….Don’t say the C word.

Christmas. That’s right, Christmas. You didn’t think I meant the other one did you? Walk away from the screen right now and wash your mouth and mind out.

I definitely meant Christmas!

It’s a comin’ people. 17 weeks

I hate to be the one to break it to you but it is. The X Factor is kicking off again this week-end and that signals Summer’s over like nothing else.

If this year you intend to break the habit of a life time, get yourself absolutely organised and awesome then you are going to need two three things;

  • An early bird shopping trip to bag the inevitable ‘must have’ that is on every childs Christmas list.
  • A Fabulous Frost Fair to stock up on a range of utterly beautiful and unique pieces which are simply perfect for all of the special people in your life (and you…we all deserve a treat!)
  • The third is the number of a good beautician…it is pointless to leave your festive defuzz booking to the last minute…get it in the diary now ladies!

Thankfully, because I adore Christmas, spending time with friends and a glass of the good stuff, I have got it all sorted for you.

All you need to do is get your tickets, invite your friends and look forward to feeling super smug on Christmas Eve as you curl up on the sofa watching Carols from Kings (or Home Alone, depending on your preference!)

1) Muma Leary’s Shopping Extravaganza.

This signals the start of your Christmas planning and preparation.

Shopping in the Christmas madness is no fun. Whether you’re the one with the buggy or the one being rammed in the ankles by someone elses, shopping with young children is rarely simple. More often it is stressful, manic and nerve shredding!

Avoid at all costs.

Instead, meet your friends for a relaxed day of shopping, book-ended with fizz and festive cheer at The Divine Devon Doorway. You can book your tickets by clicking the Eventbrite link on the left of this page (just below the search bar in fact) or by visiting the Eventbrite page which has all the details you need.

They’re selling quickly though so don’t wait too long. It’s great to see so many people confirming via Facebook but, without a ticket, that’s not a booking- if you’ve already paid me directly, you’re on the spreadsheet!! Sorry to sound like a geeky version of Scrooge.

Devon Doorway, Wirral

Think roaring fire, glass of red and good friends.

 

2) The Fabulous Frost Fair.

This is the place to be this Christmas. The stunning Hillbark Hotel and Spa is the perfect venue for this 3 day event showcasing the very best of the North West independent businesses that focus on quality, originality and customer service.

Fabulous Frost Fair, Hillbark Hotel

With over 40 stalls of amazing products including clothes and accessories, candles and homeware, cards, books and gorgeous stationary as well as delicious food and drink, you can pick up everything you need whilst supporting your local area in the process.

The website launched this week and on there you can find out everything you need to know about tickets, opening times, exhibiting and the work of our chosen charity, The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.

3) The Beauty stuff.

Come on now; you have to do something yourselves! If I gave you the number of my lovely lady and then I couldn’t book in…well; it doesn’t bare thinking about!

Oh, Hillbark does have a spa though and, if it’s good enough for Rory Mc Ilroy…

Hillbark Hotel spa

And Relax…

 

Looking forward to seeing you all at either or both of these events now get out the onesie, it’s almost Autumn!

Love Muma.

XxxX

2 Comments »

Weekend in Watford…WTF?!

I know it doesn’t sound sexy.
Watford is anything but sexy (sorry Watfordians!) but, heading down South for the Lollibop festival (more of which another time) we needed somewhere to stay and, with a whole long weekend stretching out in front of us thanks to Mr L’s annual leave, The Grove (officially in Chandlers Cross) sounded just perfect.
With family rooms and babysitters on site how could we refuse?

Answer, we didn’t.

I imagine it’s pretty tricky to write anything other than a glowing review of anywhere when you’re drafting it whilst reclining on a roomy and comfortable sun lounger looking at this:

In little old Blighty! Can you believe it?!

In little old Blighty! Can you believe it?!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Lullaby’s, Life and Licking the Bowl. #Lovethelittlethings


Hey lovelies, I hope you’ve had a lovely week- Half way through the Summer holidays hey- this year is whizzing by. This time next month it will be my birthday weekend WOO HOO!! Not totally sure why I seem to be excited about the aging process but it is a privilege denied to many so I will smile and be grateful for the wrinkles!

Anyway, I have had a serious break from my favorite Friday posts- Love the Little things but this week I am back with a bang, check out what we’ve been up to this week.

Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Save a Life #WinningWednesday

Can you Adam and Eve it- I go to the bother of hosting a #winningwednesday, pick a winner and they don’t respond to my emails- RUDE!!

Oh well, thanks to a lack of common courtesy (or a serious personal issue keeping them away from social media, I’m not sure which!) I am re running the competition for one of you to win a British Red Cross First Aid Book and Kit.

first aid book

 

Anywho, at that time what I said was, the app was really useful but that everyone should, if possible, attend an actual real life course.  Read the rest of this entry »

2 Comments »

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