Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

Chic Lit, Cheek and Daylight Robbery; Love the little Things #6

Morning All! So, here we are again, another Friday has rolled around. Unbelievable. We are heading into spring and I am loving the lighter nights and the sight of buds on the trees. On the downside, it’s trickier to con your child into thinking it’s nighttime at 4pm…swings and roundabouts hey!

In case you are new to my blog or, to this linky, let me recap. The lovely Morgana at ‘But Why Mummy Why’ hosts this link up each week where bloggers write about their week in topic form. Clever hey? Bit annoyed I didn’t think of it.Love the Little things butwhymummuwhy

This week has been a bit of a rollercoaster with some serious battles of wills as well as some absolute glimmers of gorgeousness. Without further ado, let me share them with you my dears…Pull up a chair! Read the rest of this entry »


All about me! (or Mummy Tag)

Now I’m getting a bit more into the whole twitter thing, I have made a few new blogger mates and I was included in Mummy Tag nearly 2 weeks ago- eeek. I was tagged by Sian at Potty Mouthed Mummy- brilliant name for a blog, check her out here…woah, not yet- you need to read this first! 

Before I undo all my good social media work, I need to answer these questions about me… 

It’s a bit like a chain letter which I’d normally avoid like the plague but, because I love an excuse to talk about myself my family, I’m going all in and giving you the whole truth and nothing but…

1. Are you a Stay at Home Mum, or a Working Mum?

I am very luckily working from home part time. I work for a fan-bleedin-tastic cause called Young Rewired State which is all about teaching kids to code. Infact, I am so into it I wrote a post all about it!

2. Would you have it any other way?

Uuummm…I think the only change I would make would be to employ a full-time house keeper. I would like to have a little bell to ring at regular intervals for tea and the gorgeousness which is Aldi chocolate raisins- my new favourite things. (the raisins, not tea, that’s been a fave for some decades) by saying full-time, it looks as though we have someone part-time currently…clearly we don’t which is why I tripped over my own knickers on the stairs this morning and nearly broke my head. Michael Caine as Alfred in Batman

3. Do you co-sleep?

Nope. We do a bit of co-awake! Sleep was never an issue with our big little and we were utterly lulled into a false sense of security. I thought I was the most calm and soothing mother earth, that a chilled muma would result in an uber relaxed baby but, turns out, it was sweet fanny adams to do with me, she just likes to sleep. The little little is more of a do’er so, if she’s awake she ain’t lying in her cot contemplating her naval, she’s wanting to be up and at ’em.


4. What is your one must-have item for your baby?

Uuum…for the big little it’s books all the way. For the little little, it’s stair gates and door locks!

5. How many kids do you plan on having?

I think in the ‘plan’, we’re done…I think…but they are so lovely when they are all teeny weeny and still a little bit scrunched up don’t you think?!

6. Date nights? How many do you have per month?

I have just done a bit of sick in my mouth due to the term date night. We are just getting back into the habit of being in the same county every night after two years of Mr L working away and, we have also just come back from a weekend in Madrid so I reckon we are doing ok. We sit in the same room most evenings and occasionally offer each other a snippet of interesting conversation.  Plus, we like a good film night!

7. Your child’s favourite show?

I honestly don’t know. We watch In the Night Garden after the bath each night but that’s more a routine than because they ever really express a desire to watch it.  My personal fave is Abney and Teal I think, nice, gentle and relaxed and, they enjoy a bit of porridge. Yum.Abney and Teal

8. Name one thing you brought before you had the baby and never ended up using?

A baby bath. My mum bought us a really cute Winnie the Pooh baby bath and we used it with each of the girls a handful of times. After that we put them in the big bath either with me or on their own with me crushing my lungs leaning over the side…no long term damage done…I don’t think! There is sooooo much s&*t out there to make expectant parents think they can’t get by without it. I honestly reckon that you can get by with a sling, a moses basket, some babygro’s and some nappies in the dreamy first few days. The evidence is in the cave paintings and hieroglyphics proving people have been doing this for awhile now and some of them (whisper it) without a bugaboo!!

9. Your child’s favourite food?


10. How many cars does your family have?


11. Weight gain, before pregnancy, during, after and now?

No idea. I was the size of a tank when I was pregnant but lots of that was water as I had polyhydramnious both times. I am trying to pay more attention to being active and eating a more balanced diet than what I weigh . Basically if my jeans don’t fasten with the hair band I use to keep them up then we have a problem. I am trying to get out running a bit and have a 10km on Sunday…I’ve set aside the day to complete it! Plus, I am mega aware of how giving yourself a hard time about the way you look will be picked up on by your kids and I really, really don’t want that to happen. It’s such a waste of time to feel like crap about how you look but it is so difficult to switch off isn’t it.

Kids and weight

12. Dream holiday with your kids?

Lapland I reckon. I would absolutely LOVE to take the girls to meet Father Christmas and have a go at lots of snow man building, sledging and all that jazz. Snow and ice is where it’s at when you have skin as pale as mine!Lapland father christmas

13. Dream holiday without your kids?

This is hard. I’m torn between heading back to a place we’ve been to before and loved (Edinburgh,  New York or The Maldives) or trying somewhere totally new for us. I want us to have a round the world adventure when the girls have left home so I guess that’s my dream, kicking off in Australia I think. Fantastic!Whitsundays, Australia

14. How has your life changed since having kids?

Well, my boobs aren’t where they once were. I have less money, less time, more wrinkles, more stretch marks, I’m married to a dad for pity’s sake so I am clearly getting old but, day to day I am more loved than I ever have been before and I feel immense love and pride almost whenever I look at my babies. Not so much when they’re wailing on the floor of a shopping centre, but generally speaking, love and pride override the burning sense of shame!!

15. Finish the sentence “It makes heart melt when…”

I can hear my babies chattering and giggling and playing together. Best. Thing. Ever.


16. Where do you shop for your kids?

I tend to ask my sister to borrow her next catalogue, turn over a couple of the pages and then see what arrives in the post…cheeky hey! Seriously, we hardly ever buy clothes for the girls are they are given so many it is crazy. It is hard to resist though because matching outfits in weeny sizes are too cute for words.

17. Favourite make-up and skincare products?


A pampers babywipe pre bed is about my limit. I am looking 100 and I hate it. I need to get back into the effort thing but I just love my bed too much. I have just re-read this and reprimanded myself for being so slovenly. Grim. I will sort it…

18. Huggies or Pampers?

Aldi nappies are for me. Lots cheaper and do a fab job, just a shame I didn’t know about them right from the word go.

19. Have you always wanted kids?

Yeah, I think so. I was a nanny and babysat for lots and lots of really gorgeous girls and boys and playing with them made me think that this parenting malark might be quite nice. It’s a bit different when they’re actually yours though and no one is paying you to look after them 24/7…

Seriously, I’m doing this, every single day for free. Crazy.

20. Best part of being a mum?

Cosy nug time after we’ve finished with the bath and we are all snuggled up in bed having a cuddle. Life doesn’t get better than that (until someone makes a programme to replace In the Night Garden).

I tag Emma at The Cheshire Wife and, because I have taken so long to write this, I reckon everyone else has already been tagged! Tardy.

I’m linking this post with #AllAboutYou because, though it is baby centric, it is at least telling you a little more about how I feel about the whole shebang! #allaboutme


What are your favourite bits of being a parent? Would love to hear your answers…




#WinningWednesday- Canvas Design Review

They say a picture paints a thousand words and I couldn’t agree more.

I love a good photo and can be transported back to specific times and occasions, right down to the sounds, smells and feelings just by casting a glancing at an old snap.
That’s the power of a picture.
An afternoon of well-intentioned sorting can pass in a blink if you happen across a box of these precious rectangular memories.

I sincerely wish I was better at photography and I would love to take an evening class to improve. It’s on the bucket list along with The New York Marathon and renovating a property. Read the rest of this entry »


Tales of a tantruming toddler

For the past two days I have been paying a heavy price for our weekend trip to Madrid.
I have been paying in patience and it is running out fast!!
Since we got home late on Sunday night the big little has been a tantruming toddler of epic proportions. Read the rest of this entry »


Brand, Books and Sophoe Ellis Bextor…Love the Little Things!

Watcha! Happy Friday everyone.
Another week done and dusted and, as you read this my lovelies, I will be winging my way to Madrid with Mr L. WOO HOO. I am so excited.

Let’s cut to the chase with my low down of the sights and sounds of the week in Leary Land…thanks to the link up that is; Love the Little Things. (Thanks Morgana!)

Read: As this week has been half term up here, I have been doing Storytime at my local bookshop, Linghams. I really, really enjoy it.
I think that getting kids into reading at an early age is so important and love to see them getting into the story and pouring over the illustrations.
One of the many, books we enjoyed was One Ted Falls out of Bed. 20140221-102209.jpg

It is a great read for babies and toddlers as it is so much more than a counting book. There is lots to talk about in each of the pictures and so far, I’ve not got bored of it. Bloody annoying that it’s another from Julia Donaldson really- she is too good.

Watched: On Saturday we went out. Together, on our own. I don’t want to refer to it as date night but basically, it was a date night. (Blugh, hideous term).
Anyway, we went into town to watch Russell Brand at the Auditorium at The Echo Arena. It was amazing.

He has got such an amazing way with words, such a stage presence and such a major pathological need to be the centre of attention it is wicked. We loved it.
The warm up guy was a poet who I thought was really, really talented. I would definitely recommend you check him out. Mister Gee.
The venue was absolutely perfect, quite small, intimate and it looked like all seats had a brilliant view. We did.
Joan Rivers is on there later on this year, I think I’m going to book. She is hilarious.

Worn: I am rocking some fake eye lashes in honour of the weekend!! They are amazing. They are so long that they knock against my glasses a bit but, they are the glorious opposite of Meh.
I have a slight concern that they are addictive. I had them done at Christmas as a treat and I loved looking at least a teeny bit ‘alright’ without having to do anything at all. 🙂
Check these bad boys out!

Made: A bit of a show of myself. I think regular readers of the blog will be well aware by now that I am neither a cook or a crafter or homemaker. In fact, the only thing that I make on an almost daily basis is a bit of a show of myself.
Take the time that I kissed the doctors hand. Repeatedly. In error, thinking it was the little littles head. Awkward.
Or, in the case of this week when I sent the girls to nursery with all their bits in the nursery bag. Obviously I’d packed in a rush and when they arrived home I realised that a pair of massive pants had been attached to the bibs by the Velcro.

Heard: This song was on my ‘heard’ list for last week but was ousted by Dire Straits which played on the radio as I wrote.
It’s called Young Blood and I think it is a really beautiful, gentle, unusual tune and have found myself playing it again as soon as it finishes which I think is the sign of a good song?
Mr L is a Sophie Ellis Bextor fan, not musically. I think that her looks and her music match each other. Striking, unusual and a little aloof. Do you know what I mean?

Anyway, the YouTube link isn’t working so you’ll have to look it up yourselves. Soz people, that’s what happens if you leave things to the last minute. This blogging malarkey is tougher than it looks hey!

And another thing: I am typing this in the taxi on the way to the airport because I ran out of time to do everything yesterday. Does this mean I am an actual blogging addict or just a lunatic?

Right…that’s all for now folks, I logging off and tuning out because we’re going to Madrid people!!!!
Adios Amigos. Have a wonderful weekend.





MAD World

Hey Guys. Hope your day is going A ok so far?

If you follow me on Facebook, you might have spotted me last week banging on about the MADS. (Quick aside; if you don’t follow me, why the devil not?! You can remedy that here).

For those not totally obsessed with all things blogging, the MAD Blog Awards are one of the biggest things in blogging.  Sponsored by Parentdish, they are now in their 5th year. Last year there were over 150,000 nominations and votes and this year looks set to top that.

The MAD’s showcase some of the very best blogs out there so, now that my nominations are safely in, I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite bloggers so you can check them out and cast your votes accordingly…

MAD Blog Awards

Ready?..Actually, there are 15 categories; you’d better get a cuppa or, (it’s always afternoon somewhere) something stronger?!

To be honest, I haven’t nominated in every category as I don’t read blogs from every category but, if I’d said that straight away you wouldn’t be cradling an ice cold gin now would you so, please don’t be cross, instead have a swizz at the blogs below, tell them Muma sent you!


Best Food Blog

Love to cook? This award recognises blogs that provide mouth-watering recipes, healthy dinner options and great family food ideas.

As you know, I’m not much of a chef. Every so often however I think about expanding my repertoire from fish fingers and waffles (one of the best things about being a parent surely?!) and I head over to Emily at A Mummy too. As you can see, her surname is Leary too. She is not my secret sister, I don’t feel a need to cast my nomination in her direction due to our blood ties, she just does good food- lots!

Best Thrifty Blog

It’s been a hard year for many families struggling to make ends meet so thank goodness for thrifty blogs that show us how to make a little go a long way.

Jen over at My Mummys Pennies writes a fab blog which does loads of reviews and has shedloads of competitions. Who doesn’t love a competition hey?!

my mummys pennies

Best Schooldays Blog

This award celebrates blogs that share stories of family life with children aged 5-16, and the chaos and fun that comes with it!

Regular readers will know I link up to the wonderful weekly #LovetheLittleThings with Morgana at But Why Mummy Why?  Morgana does a fantastic blog and has a penchant for gin which is always nice. Guess what, she also has two girls, a little ahead of ours age wise but I love to read about what they’re up to. It helps that she’s crap at craft too! She’s my pick for Best School Days which she bagged last year too.

But Why Mummy Why

Best Blog Photography

Sometimes pictures can tell stories more effectively than hundreds of words. This award category celebrates the most creative and talented photographers in the parent blogging community.

Check out this utterly gorgeous blog by Katie at Mummy Daddy Me makes Three. Katie is a natural photographer and I always cringe when I compare my snaps with hers. She has two girls too (flip, we’re all over the place!) and I love her weekly link up of #TheOrdinaryMoments it is heart warming.


Outstanding Contribution

This award recognises that blogger who has contributed most to their community, through campaigning, charity work and practical support.LIFEASAWIDOWER
This one is easy for me. I have nominated a blog which, I wish had no need to exist. It is the wonderfully written, honest and emotional Life of a Widower. 
Ben’s wife Desreen was tragically killed when their son was only 2 and his blog charts their journey since that day. Through the blog Ben has helped so so many people who are struggling with their own grief and has provided a forum for people to share and open up. The supportive comments and love I regularly see on these pages are truly life affirming.
For all these reasons, I have also nominated Ben in the best writer category and am awaiting his book with trepidation, I know there will be tears.


Best New Blog

Every year, the blogging community grows bigger, with hundreds of new writers joining our ranks. This award celebrates some of the best new talent to emerge over the past 12 months

Most Entertaining Blog

We want to know about the blogs that make your sides ache with laughter, and are guaranteed to make you smile.

Oh…this IS awkward!! These are the categories that I nominated myself in. That’s right people, I’m nailing my colours to the mast, I have nominated myself. WHAT. A. LOSER.

Well, you say that but, anyone that can raise a smile by over sharing their experience as a mum, let alone cause someone to comment that my blog caused;

‘Proper balls out of the bath laughter’

must be worth a punt.

If you’re not sure, check these out, my top five funnies:

The one about the boobs

The one about the undercarriage

The one about the new house

The one about shopping

The one about becoming a grown up

And finally, who gets my vote for the biggy…I’m not telling you but it’s one of the one’s I’ve mentioned above.

So, that’s it really. My run down of the blogs worth watching.

If you do fancy voting (and you can win £100 if you do) click on the badge to your right but, you can only do it once so make sure you’re sure who you’re going for first.

Good Luck to everyone who is nominated.





No such thing as an ordinary moment?

This morning, for the first time ever, our big little girl woke up in our bed.

She had a nightmare in the early hours and when I went to check on her she clung to me like a limpet. When I tried to put her back in her cot she shook her head and repeated no no no so forcefully between sobs that I didn’t want to let her go either so, I took her into bed with us and Mr L and I squoze into about 1/3 of the bed whilst she and her two comforters spreadeagled over the rest of it! Sleeping in mumas bed

As I watched her fall slowly back to sleep, her eyelids flickering and her chest rising and falling rhythmically, I was entranced.

She slept through her daddy getting up for a shower.

She slept through me getting up and dressed and sorted and she only began to stir when her little sister clambered over to snuggle in next to her. photo (11)

As she opened her eyes and yawned and stretched and quietly watched what was going on around her I was reminded of being a little girl myself and watching the early morning routine of my daddy. I don’t know if it is one memory or an amalgamation of lots of early mornings feeling cozy and safe in my parents big bed.

He used to do this thing with his socks where he’d flick them into the air from his elbow crease and then catch them. He used to turn them almost inside out to put them on and that is all I remember really. Absolutely nothing more than a scrap of a memory of a happy time. An ordinary moment.

Perhaps this was one of my mum and dads ordinary moments. But it occurred to me that, once my daddy had gone, this would have been a precious, precious moment that we would give anything to have another moment of so, perhaps there are no ordinary moments.

Perhaps in hindsight everything is precious and it is only seeing them in the rear view mirror that we can appreciate them fully.

With lots of Love,



I am linking this post up with the lovely Katie who blogs at MummyDaddyMe. Full of beautiful snaps and, as a mum of two girls I love checking out what they are up to!


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Love the Little Things #4

Yo Yo Yo!! I am hoping that you are smiling today? I am and it is mainly thanks to the following things…

READ: We can not get through a day without reading at least three books in this house. When the big little was born and I was on maternity leave I was so worried I would turn into a onesie wearing, daytime TV addict that didn’t let us get into TV at all. This was a mistake of epic proportions as now, on a cold, wet, windy day when all you want to do is snuggle under a duvet and watch a film, I am required to read!! Annoying. I am going to persist with the film thing, whats not to love about some TV, a babychinno and a lovely snuggle? Read the rest of this entry »

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Feeling the pressure on Valentines Day? Chill out & read this!

Hey guys and Gals,


No doubt you’ve been gently woken today with a peck on the cheek, a huge bunch of flowers and a beautiful breakfast in bed…Or, you’ve been awake soothing a crying baby since 5:07am and have rarely felt less romantic, glamorous and amorous!!

Ah well, we can’t have it all can we!

I don’t want to rain on anyones parade with this whole Valentines day thing but I am writing this post from my new address…The Dog House.

I have invited people over for dinner tonight. No, not ‘people’ two of our mates and also my sister and her fella. People whose company we enjoy.

I invited them, not so we could all chuck our keys in a bowl or anything but because it was an evening where we were all available which is pretty rare.

Mr L has spent over a decade of towing the Valentines day line, something which he isn’t that into himself and so, I thought he’d feel like he’d been let off the hook and everyone would be a winner.

Not so dear reader.

He is cross because if he’d suggested doing something like this I very probably would have done a sulky face and felt rejected. It is basically a serious case of double standards and, he is totally right. I hate it when that happens.

But, you know, this Valentines thing, like the Hollywood thing and like the Disney thing, can make people feel like their love isn’t crazy enough, not sweep you off your feet enough and sometimes you know, just not ‘enough’ enough so, here are my thoughts on love after a loooong time. Read the rest of this entry »


Jo Malone blamed for Wild Weather (by me)

I’m not saying I’m blaming Jo Malone for the devastating flooding that has hit the country so hard in recent weeks. That isn’t what I’m saying.
But…if we look at the facts, I think we can all see that it is almost entirely their fault.
The buck stops there.
Right outside their beautiful boutique shops, many of which are probably now flooded themselves. Ahhhh, the irony.

Infact, if people are looking for make do flood defences, their boxes and bags are so strong that they could do worse than fill them with sand and line them up outside their doors.

Obviously I am joking, I am being facetious (which FYI is the only word in the English language with all the vowels in, in order; cool hey) but, these recent floods, this crazy weather that we are experiencing, should surely remind us all that the elements are stronger than us and we can’t fight against them forever. 20140212-214858.jpg

It might not be obvious from the above but, I love Jo Malone.
I think the products are absolutely gorgeous and far superior to any others that I have tried. The fragrances are unusual and really last and I have been known to sniff at a candle like a crazed crack addict but, the fact remains- there is way too much waste. 20140212-215840.jpg

I don’t really want to pick them out specifically but, as I was lucky enough to receive some of their products for Christmas, they were at the forefront of my mind when I wrote this (so far unanswered post) over a month ago. There are many, many more companies that I could name.
I just want to highlight the fact that all brands, all companies and all individuals have a responsibility to #reduce #reuse and #recycle.

All companies should be trying to think of ways to cut down on their waste, reduce their carbon footprint and lessen the impact that they (and we) are having on the environment.

I have had a brief look on the old ‘tinterweb and can see that it is easy peasy to make refills, use less glass and plastic for products packaging. Companies are already doing it and, bonus, it is saving them money too. LOOK.
I’m no expert but how hard would it be for there to be the option to return your bags and boxes to your local store with your empty candle holders or scent defusers. You can do it with plastic bags at the supermarkets.

I know that by talking about Jo Malone specifically some people will be rolling their eyes and saying that this isn’t to do with them, they don’t buy the product, it’s a luxury and a first world problem but, that’s the thing. Everyone is paying the price for excessive waste so everyone needs to take some responsibility and change their behaviour.

Recycling isn’t going to immediately lead to the river levels returning to normal and everything being hunky dory by the end of the week. There is much to be done in many different areas and I am sure that there will have been some conservationists saying “I told you so” of late as they watched the waters spill over the tops of people’s wellies and bubble up through the bore holes.

So, I will ask again, what can you do, what can companies do and what does The Government need to do to make sure that this is a freak incident and not something that will become an annual occurrence.

Jo Malone, I will await your reply….

Which brands do you think are in the recycling bad books? Are there any examples of really good ideas that you know of?

Would love to hear your thoughts.




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Bristol Betty

The semi-coherent thoughts of yet another Guardian-reading middle-class mother

Molly Gunn

Journalist | Editor | Copywriter

Born in 2011

Emma Cantrell writes


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