Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

Got any ID love?!

Can you believe that we are one week away from March?!?

Whoa there univimageerse, let’s slow this bad-boy down shall we?!
Oh well, spring is soon to be springing which means longer evenings, warmer weather and the arrival of my amazing niece or nephew. Hooray!

So, how is 2015 shaping up so far; well all things considered been a pretty great start to 2015 for family Leary.
I’ve got a new job, Mr L has celebrated a year in the post that brought him home to us, I’ve lost some weight and, more importantly I have so far maintained my momentum in the keeping active stakes so, with nearly 2 month’s done 2015 is looking bright.

I think though, that one of THE single, most lovely experiences of the year in terms of self-indulgent me time, happened a couple of weeks back; my last child free day before beginning my new job.

 

I literally did (almost) nothing all day and it felt pretty bloody amazing.
I put the duvet on the sofa made myself some tea and toast (which I consumed mindfully…) watched the tennis and then, hopped in the car and went for the single most amazing facial I have ever had.

Now, the reasons that it was so brilliant could be partly down to the fact that it is rare for me to have the opportunity to have such a treat and, when the hail is lashing against the windows who wouldn’t want to be snuggled up being pampered, but I’m pretty sure it went deeper than that.

My good friend Laura recommended Health and Beauty by Charlene Locke and I wasn’t disappointed.
I arrived at Charlene’s home in Parkgate armed with tracksuit bottoms and bed socks because I HATE feeling cold and have, all too frequently, had a spa treatment spoilt wondering whether asking for yet another blanket would either come across as rude or would crush my lungs due to the number of additional towels being piled on top of me.
How blissful then that Charlene’s bed had an electric blanket, actual duvet and a towel. Amazing. My brain was immediately able to get rid of that little worry and so was free to empty itself completely- another rarity.

Secondly, Charlene is a glowing and gorgeous example of her products and the facials she administers. I always feel more hopeful when met by someone that you’d love to look like as opposed to someone whose fingers smell of nicotine and whose make-up routine is out of the 1980’s…true story people; happened in Coventry last year. That was 30 minutes I’ll never get back. URGH.

Charlene asked about my current beauty regime- a very short conversation. Basically at the moment I am cleansing with baby wipes and scraping out the last of the MAC foundation with a cotton bud whilst I await my first pay cheque. It’s not a winning formula and, since I am trying reeducate myself about healthy mind, healthy body it makes sense to try to translate this into my loosely termed “beauty regime” and dipping my toe in the water with a treatment is the ideal way to start don’t you think?!

Having had a good look at my skin Charlene decided that a Belantur soft peel was the one for me, a 90 minute treatment starting with a back and neck massage- pure bliss! (Belantur is a Spanish skincare company new to the UK they have an amazing range of products to suit all skin types)

Charlene started experimenting with her own products when her daughter was born and now incorporates them into many of her treatments- she used the coconut and frangipani soufflé for my back massage and it smelt and felt amazing.

As I drifted off to sleep I am informed that Charlene then cleansed, moisturised peeled, pressured point massaged and generally gave my skin some serious TLC.
Of course, I was so relaxed and fast asleep it is possible that she slunk next door and watched This Morning but, judging from my “luminous glow”, I don’t think that was the case!

An unexpected treat was the hand and arm massage which gently brought me back to life as the mask was working its magic. Again this was using Charlene’s own products- specifically the neroli & lavender hand cream which left my haggard old hands much softer.

The final touch was removing the mask and moisturising with “fitoaloe” a nourishing and hydrating cream rich in hylauronic acid which is apparently an “active ingredient and a MUST for keeping your skin dewy and fine lines at bay”.

I left almost 2 hours after I’d arrived walking on air and feeling as though I’d slept for a week.

Testament to the treatment is the fact that, on the way home I popped into Co-op for a bottle of red and I WAS ONLY ID’ED!!!

Sure, he might have been on training, sure they say ‘if you look under 25’ and all that but even that means I’ve shaved off almost a decade; Ten Years Younger eat your heart out!

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With Mothers Day on the horizon surely this has got to be on the Wish list? She does vouchers you know!

Love

Muma.

PS- Charlene gave me this treatment for the purposes of this review but- as ever, all views, words and naps had are my own.

PPS- If you want to buy a voucher or book in with Charlene you can call or email her;

07973 264415

charlenelocke.sa@gmail.com

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Mindfulness

Tonight, possibly as you are reading this, I’m going to session 6 of the fit and trim programme I’ve been taking part in since mid January.
It’s a fantastic idea from Melissa at Fresh Start Health and Jonathan her brother who is a fab personal trainer .
Basically, it is all about mindfulness and re-educating yourself about what you eat, why you eat, how you choose to exercise and look after yourself from the inside out.
We have had menu plans, a week of juicing and 2 weekly group sessions where we run, chat and the following day do circuits. It is a holistic approach which I think is really important.
Blue Sky wallpaper
It isn’t about being perfect or never having a biscuit again, it is just about trying to be a little bit more mindful.
Last night I skipped Commando X fit which is an amazing class I’ve been doing along side the fit and trim sessions, check out what we get up to on the video!!
I love it.
It’s outside, it’s hard, it’s usually cold but it is always different and it gives me a real buzz.
I didn’t skip it because I couldn’t be bothered, I made a choice to spend the evening with my babies and my husband.
I had the time to bathe them (Not Mr L-that would be weird!)
We cuddled on the sofa in front of Abney and Teal, I read them 2 books and tucked them in to their beds.
Check out the daddy's girl!  What a look of love.

Check out the daddy’s girl!
What a look of love.

Then, after that, I had dinner and chilled with him in doors and I enjoyed it all because it was a choice, not a cop out.
I felt family time took precedence last night; usually I have to race out of the door when Mr L gets home to get to the class in time and leave the girls lips quivering as I don the trainers and make a mad dash .
Mindfulness in practise people; I think this fit and trim is really making a difference.
Bring on the second half. I am feeling motivated!
Happy Chinese New Year!
If you’re having a takeaway; ENJOY!
Muma.
XxxX
PS- Here are the links to the classes in case you want to know more:
Fit and Trim: http://fresh-start-health.co.uk/fit-n-slim-challenge

JGF Fitness:  http://www.jgffitness.co.uk

Commando X Fit: http://www.commandoxfitengland.co.uk/

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Everything’s Premier but the price?! OR; a post that makes me sound a bit ‘Hopkins’.

There’s a school of thought that when you have children nothing needs to change.
In my PC (pre child) days I was one of those people. I believe the word is, in hindsight, delusional.
Delusional for me on quite a few levels as it happens.

I envisaged that we’d be globe trotting like good’uns as soon as the babes were dry- why I expected this when we were too skint to holiday much when it was just the two of us is a mystery, but I have always had some pretty high ideals!
Like the posters say; dream big and all that.

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I envisaged that both myself and my children would leave the house looking serene and polished with hair pulled back into a thick, glossy, swinging ponytail. I look which, frankly, I have never pulled off. Even when I was only in charge of one birds nest barnet.

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I envisaged my life would be yoga, lunching and weirdly minimal wiping up of sick and snot and vom. It’s not quite turned out that way and I do know how lucky I am to have a part time job, two gorgeous girls, a wonderful husband and a happy family life so don’t roll your eyes at me too much. I realise things are far from dire straits.

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However, I did not, not ever, envisage that I’d be dining on Valentines Day in a Brewers Fayre before falling asleep pre 10pm in a Premier Inn family room…no I was all about Mr and Mrs Smith boutique B&B’s, White Company sheets and adjoining rooms…
Clearly someone told me that child rearing and lottery wins were basically one and the same thing!

They’re not.

I have no idea why I’m like this; I was raised like a regular human with a love of The Little Chef, Harvester and Beefeater- anything food related really (except beans)
Perhaps my experience as a nanny for the well heeled has given me a misplaced sense of what’s normal!
Anyway, if you are still living in the same fantasy world in which I reside- despite having no pension to speak of or private fortunate to secure my old age, rest assured, the real world is pretty ok too and this is how I know…

Our Valentines Adventure to The Premier Inn…

I appreciate that everywhere looks a little bit shit when it’s cold and grey and you haven’t had a valentines card but I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn to say the sun would really have to be cracking the flags to brighten up the retail park and surrounding docks that we drove through to reach our destination of The Premier Inn North Shields!

We walked in and were greeted with a real North East welcome- hooray, people that actually seem happy to be working and interacting not only with the public but with children.
Dean and Anne were quick, efficient and friendly.

Our room was a really great size and, when the big littles first words were
“This is amazing, It’s just like Ibiza!”
My heart melted a little.

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I relaxed in the bath whilst the girls chatted to me and Mr L made some Twinnings tea…plenty of tea bags- take note The Grove!!
Perfect.

We headed over to the pub to meet our friends for dinner and again, the staff were really brilliant- orders taken and divided into families to prevent hassle when paying the bill.
Speedy service and no mistakes but, because I knew we were in a place designed for families I wasn’t panicking every time the girls spoke; which they didn’t really because they were too busy in the soft play.
Small gripe here; why does all soft play seem to have inaccessible areas which kids can post rubbish into but the cleaners can not reach to clean.
I don’t want to be asked to retrieve a ball or toy or a raisin from a minging concrete floor covered in fluff, dust and other kids haribo. It’s grim, end of.
Happily, the bits the children are messing about in are totally fine which is more than I can say about many of the other soft plays I’ve endured enjoyed.
The toys and activities I (for once) remembered were redundant and it was brilliant to see the girls holding their own on the slides and tunnels. When the big littles hairband fell out 3 boys all decked out in Newcastle shirts clamoured to be the one to return it.
Ah- young love!

The food was standard pub grub with pasta, salads, burgers and meats from the grill and the Dennis the Menace inspired kids menu went down well with our girls; what’s not to love about spaghetti Bolagnaise, ham and pineapple pizza followed by jelly and ice-cream?!

Walking back to the hotel (is the Premier Inn a hotel?!) meant we could both have a drink though the fact that the little little seemed to wake every hour between midnight and five made us grateful we hadn’t filled our boots.

I suppose we could have complained about the noise and claimed a refund thanks to the ‘Great Night’s Sleep’ Guarantee but it would take the Mickey slightly given that only noise we heard was from someone we willingly brought along!

We bought breakfast on the day and we were impressed that it was made to order; something else they didn’t do at The Grove! Kids eat free too and ours certainly made the most of that with fruit, cereal and toast to sustain them.
Mr L had the works and I had two boiled eggs which were soft but not snotty. Lush.

We headed off to gorgeous Patricks Christening at 10ish but could actually have stayed until noon which is pretty generous (and unnecessary if you’re with the bairns!)

I’ll level with you. It was a wicked way to spend valentines. I loved it, probably because when it’s quality time with the fam it doesn’t really matter where you are- cue a little bit of sick in your mouth!
I’m looking for reasons to book another break at a Premier Inn, Lenny Henry tells me there’s many an excuse; I think I’m finally coming down to earth and happily, I feel a lot more chilled out here.

What or where have you been pleasantly surprised by- are there more hidden gems we need to wake up to?

Have a Happy Monday.

Muma. XxX

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Love is many a splendid thing…

Ah Valentines Day.
Love it or loathe it, it seems to be getting bigger each year. The supermarket shelves are festooned with pink and red hearts, oversized teddy bears and ridiculously; cushions emblazoned with phrases such as ‘You’re Well Fit’.

If ever Mr L wanted to break my heart he could get me some such tat.
As it goes he played it safe and got me nothing.
Nada.
Zip.

I tell a lie, he actually bought me a copy of the Times by way of apology that the Sainsbury’s local had run out of all their Valentines Day cards apart from one saying

“To a lovely Boyfriend”.

I like to imagine he was at least a little fearful of my reaction…

But, as we know love isn’t a simple thing. It comes in many guises, there are many, many ways of expressing it and you can’t turn on the gush for a particular day if you just ain’t feeling it. There will be many a tense meal shared this weekend with couples wondering whether those on the table next to them are more in love, more compatible and how come they’re laughing so much?!
Save the agro dudes- get an M&S meal deal and avoid the stares!

Love for Family Leary today mainly consists of early morning cuddles and another rendition of Tiddler rather than a lie in and a lazy breakfast, sharing the last slice of toast and foregoing the tea because there wasn’t enough for that and cereal.
It is enduring excessive Disney songs on a three hour journey to Newcastle where we will share our romantic Valentines meal at a Brewers Fayre on a retail park with around 10 others, kids and all, before bedding down in a family room at the Premier Inn next door; before a Christening tomorrow.
Who says romance is dead?!

Love is also my beautiful friend Becky heading to the other side of the world with her husband and children to begin a new life in Tonga. Giving up the life she knows to return to her husbands home. They will be sorely missed. Thank goodness for Skype and FaceTime.

Love is also painful and broken and imperfect, though shops and adverts and bloody Facebook would have us believe that everyone is having amazing sex, champagne galore and a rose petal strewn day but life simply isn’t like that.
It isn’t black and white- there’s at least 50 Shades of Grey in between (ooh, get me with the topical references!) and some people will be having a pretty pants day so, if you can spare a minute send a message to someone who might need a little bit of love. Give a smile in the street, give a compliment, give someone a hug or a call or a text because, as we know, love comes in many guises and sometimes it’s the platonic love of a friend that we need more than anything else.

With lots of love to you all.

Muma.

PS- if you want to read my Valentines post from last year with a full on actual poem; it’s here. XxX

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Life is like a toilet roll…Make some memories

As children, my sister and I spent almost all of our holidays on our Grandpa’s farm in South Wales.

The afternoon that school broke up for the holidays we were bundled up into the old orange Cortina and we were off. Off for weeks of lambing, hay making, den building, water walking, welsh cake making, village fate attending brilliance that was our childhood. I loved it. My heart will always belong to our farm and those treasured early years.

A big part of those holidays was visiting my mums cousins and Aunties who without fail would force feed us apple tart and tell us how much we’d grown and how time flew. I had absolutely no concept of how true this was and they clearly had no idea how boring it was to constantly hear that same sentence but they, like me now were simply unable to not mention the passing of time and how quickly it really does go.

Today is 7th of February 2015 for crying out loud. It is the opening weekend of another six nations; I have a grown up sister that is growing a little baby…I have grown two little babies myself- how on earth is this possible?!

I’ll tell you how people- you get booked up, year on year without even realising it…

2015, like any other year will have 52 weekends.

Of those 5 have already passed (of those we have had visitors for 3)

Out of the 47 remaining we have firm plans for 22 including 5 weddings, 2 christenings, 2 stags, one hen and a partridge being rescued from a pear tree.

BLOODY HELL!! It’ll be Christmas before we know it…on that note, I’ve already taken the liberty of booking the panto tickets! (yes really)

Happily, I’m a planner- I love having things in the diary and having things to look forward to and following an email today I can now add Geronimo Festival to the list of activities rapidly filling our standard issue Family Organiser Calendar. Family Leary are ambassadors. WHOOP WHOOP!

Geronimo Tatton Park

We were ambassadors for Lollibop last year and loved it so can’t wait to see what the Family Festival of the North has got to offer.

Geronimo will make its debut at Tatton Park in Cheshire over the May Bank Holiday weekend (Sat 23 – Mon 25 May) and is aimed at families of kids aged 2-12. Perfect for both of ours.

The festival director, Simon Goldman is a father of 7.

Lets jut ponder on that for a second shall we…SEVEN. I have 2 and it’s like a daily exercise in dressing octopus’ and herding cats so I am already taking my hat off to him but I digress; he says

With Geronimo, we’ve created a festival that’s going to keep the kids entertained all day long, and create memories that will last a lot longer.

That sounds perfect for me. I don’t do trinkets, I don’t want souvenirs but memories, photos and videos that we can look back on mean the world.

I’m not a total idiot, I know that it is the job of a press release to make things sound amazing but; it sounds AMAZING!!

You can picnic with the Mad Hatter for a start- I know that will be a winner for our two especially since the festival falls on both of their unbirthdays 🙂

Mad hatters tea party

Anyone for a cuppa?!

I reckon we’ll be spending the lions share of our time in the 3ft and under zone and, in homage to my childhood we’ll be taking in the petting zoo; I’m not sure what they’ll make of the camel rides though- watch this space.

Tatton park petting zoo

Baby animals for your littlies to feed and cuddle…I’m not kidding
(see what I’ve done there?!)

There’s craft workshops- another great opportunity to keep glitter out of the home, cookie decorating (when did we stop calling them biscuits?!) a dressing up zone (for the kids) a whole bouncy village and a giant sandpit- Mr Leary will be pleased 😉

I'll look forward to the inevitable rescuefrom the top of this!

I’ll look forward to the inevitable rescue from the top of this!

Much like Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage the Geronostage is where you’ll catch the big hitters like Mr Bloom and CBeebies ‘I Can Cook’ presenter, Katy Ashworth with more acts being announced all the time. I’m keeping everything crossed that the pink pig stays the hell away.

She cooks with kids and looks this clean?! I'm doing the meet and greet- I've got questions that need answering...

She cooks with kids and looks this clean?! I’m doing the meet and greet- I’ve got questions that need answering…

One of our favourite activities at the moment is dancing in the kitchen, on the nursery run frankly anywhere is fair game so I am looking forward to getting down with my badself my toddlers at the Gerono Disco- you never know who you might spot, Knutsford’s jam packed with ‘clebs.

See you there people, life’s like a toilet roll; the closer you get to the end, the quicker it goes so go on, make some memories.

Happy weekend…6/52…

Love Muma.

XxxX

Geronimo_Official-Ambassador_Badge_Simple_Medium

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