Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

Oh what a Beautiful Bag…#ArchivePost

Well Hello My dears!

Here’s hoping that you are well and happy after a sunny weekend and knowing that, after tomorrow we will be rolling down hill towards another. Lovely stuff! Summer’s a coming!

So, as I was faffing about on Facebook (whilst troughing left over pasta at a rate of knots) I came across this linky and, having done a few reviews, I thought I’d share one of my oldest ones. The ones I did when I was a brand new and utterly naive blogger who though that companies would be throwing their products at me to sample and review…Well, it turns out, that after little over a year of plugging away at this little blog, Pacapod ARE sending me a bag to review! So, by way of thanks, I am giving this post some archive love. Have a gander and don’t forget to subscribe or like me on Facebook and Twitter so you can be kept in the loop with all the forthcoming reviews and competitions….

golden oldiesAre you sitting comfortably?! Here it is, sans my opening blurb.

Point to note- this post is probably only going to be interesting if;
A) you want a bag to accommodate baby stuff
B) you like gimmicky things
C) you simply love reading my musings!
D) you think mooning is funny- even though you are over 13 years old.


By nature, I am a very ‘all or nothing at all’ type of character.
Take this blog for instance, rather than do a bit of reading about how to start a blog, get a site that looks nice, will be picked up on search engines etc, I just jumped straight in and now have a page which I need to alter so that it does what I would like it to do. Sooo, I just threw some money at the problem and bought two books; Blogging for Dummies and Get Rich Blogging. (I wish!)
Guess what, I haven’t had the time to read the books so the page looks just as it did before and I am carrying on doing the bit that I find fun rather than deal with the nuts and bolts stuff.

The same goes for my plan to become an actual grown up. I am attempting to buy my way out of the chaos.
To that end, I have bought myself some Tupperware and a bag. beautiful, beautiful bag!!

Pacapod Firenze Review

Yummy Mummy Alert!

Pacapod Firenze Review

A child in a white dress…you can tell this is a website shot and not one of mine!

Now, because I am a fool, I expected the bag to magically transform me into an amazing and organised yummy who would laugh in the face of the disorganised slummy and say kind things like;

“Not to worry, I always carry a couple of spare Muslins incase of situations like this”.

(possibly whilst making eyes at their friends!)

The bag, although lovely, is only a bag and you will (as my mother has pointed out) still need to fill it to make you into the kind of person deserving of such a purchase. It will not turn you into Mary Poppins which is a shame as I have long coveted her parrot head umbrella and also her tape measure but I digress.mary poppins umbrella

Anywho, because I am high on the smell of leather and the desire to become utter maternal perfection, I check out what the peeps at Pacapod say about what you should pack for a stress free day out. See here for their suggestions
I must highlight at this juncture that I very much wanted to prove the website wrong and return the bag with a haughty note having spent all my eBay profits on it since the website accepts paypal. Too. Damn. Easy. Their marketing people are genius!

BUT, it turns out that everything you need DOES fit in it. Humph. Look, I even took some pictures to show you. (This is what becomes of you when your husband works away. You become an utter nerd!)

Pacapod Firenze Review,

Absolutely loads of room.

Pacapod Fireenze Review

Creates order where there once was chaos!

Here comes the science bit…

The idea is that even if you have a baby bag (which I have never, ever had before) you will spend time rooting around looking for all the things you need for various times during an average day out. Sooooo Jaccqueline Waggett designed a bag containing two other bags; one for feeding and one for changing. There is also a separate bit for your stuff. I LOVE IT. It even has a thingy to attach your keys to- you know, an elastic thing with a clip; Fab!
I fitted in everything I needed for both babies and we were out all day. TOTES AMAZEBALLS.

You do need to pack it in advance though as it takes some careful folding and organisation to get everything in but I guess that would be less important if you only had one.
It means that, if you are sending someone else to the bathrooms to do the changing bit, you don’t need to take the bag off the pram (it has pram attachment clips). You just remove the changing bag bit and voila, off they pop whilst you sit back and relax!
NB- this is best done against a backdrop of the French Riviera with a glance which says;

I think you’ll find there is everything you could ever need in there because I am freaking amazing  and, yes, I will have some more champagne!! 

(but, it also works in the car park of Homebase!) 

My only gripe with this particular bag is that the long strap is a bit thin for it to feel comfortable when worn like a satchel and also, it is expensive. I am justifying this to myself by thinking of it in terms of cost per use, how lovely it is and because I paid for it via eBay sales. There are loads of others to choose from though and they also have an eBay store which sells their seconds, prototypes etc so you don’t have to go mad!

Now, what I am very much hoping, is that the quite amazing team at Pacapod, will send me another bag for me to give away as a competition prize to my readers… Obviously, this is only a possibility if lots of people read this post so- please like, share and above all comment so that I can show how much we would all appreciate it!!! What do you say Pacapod?!

Oh, one more thing…I was very concerned that becoming an organised mother would mean the end of this blog, after all, what am I to write about if I don’t have chaos and disorder in my life anymore.
Turns out I needn’t have worried as Baby A saw fit to pull down my pyjama bottoms yesterday whilst I was making coffee for the gardeners. I had two cups in my hand and so, for what felt like an eternity, I was mooning in my kitchen which has two sets of French doors just as the gardener came round the back with his pruning shears. Not Embarrassing at all.

Until Next time!




And all before 10am! Phew

Holy Crap- What a stressed out start to the day that was!

We woke up late thanks to a 2 1/2 hour hiatus in the middle of the night where the little little decided that no one could possibly survive the night without knowing the breadth of her (impressive) vocabulary.

It started around 1am with the obligatory muma muma muma and, when I realised the incessant wailing would not stop without help I went in to her. This led to her poking my eyes and pulling my hair in turn simply to prove she knew the words. Marvelous.

I took her into the spare room which also doubles as my office; a somewhat grandiose term for ‘room with desk and other clutter’. She changed tack…chair chair chair. We sit on the chair. Obviously at this stage I had already attempted the back to bed thing more than once- I’m not a total idiot. Anyway, eventually, after asking where the horses* were (asleep) where grandma was (asleep) and where the dogs** were (also asleep baba- do you see the common theme here?!) She went back to bed and so did I. That was around 3.30 so when the alarm went off I felt I deserved a snooze or two…Cue waking up at 8:18, way later than necessary to get everyone sorted and out the door in time for nursery for me to start work. Shiiiiiiiiigar!

Not to worry, we’ll drive today as it’s raining…

Car seats at Grandmas…start again.

Put girls in buggy, Big little needs wee wee, Get her out, take her, praise her, etc etc…

Put her back in buggy.

Little little wants ‘nana. Get nana as an easy don’t cry bribe and set off.

Get a right old sweat on trying to do the old jork (jog walk) to nursery and arrive looking like the wild woman of Borneo and probably smelling worse. Also, forget keyworkers leaving present. I am amateur.

Right, now I’ve got that off my chest I’d better get back to changing the world through code! Someone’s got to…

Have a great day people.



* Important to note I think she is referring to the horses in the fields opposite, not our horses.

**Important to note that she is referring to random dogs we see, not our dogs!

I am linking this post with Vicky’s Brilliant Blog Posts so, click the link to see some other fab blogs.
Brilliant blog posts on


I used to be indecisive…an Oxo Tot Review

I never knew how much I didn’t know about myself until I became a mum…today’s news is…I have become a ditherer. I am so afraid of making a wrong decision and inadvertently committing my children to a life dressed a princesses and refusing to climb trees that, when a totally simple email popped into my inbox I was floored…

Here’s what happened… The lovely people at Oxo Tot have launched some new products and wanted family Leary to give them a whirl, write a review and host a give away- so far so good. They wanted to send us a Twist Top Water Bottle and a Flippy Snack Cup. Brilliant. Here comes the tricky bit…What colour would we like them in…Pink, Green or Blue…I was floored. WHAT HAVE I BECOME???

Looking at the selection I could see that, whilst they were all lovely, if the big little was going to choose herself she would go for the pink, no question. My brain went into over drive…Oh my word, has society conditioned her already?? By choosing pink am I reinforcing the gender stereotypes and forcing her into a world where she won’t feel able to achieve as much as her male peers??

check out the range!

check out the range!

Read the rest of this entry »


Adult Admin

Evening All.

I hope you’ve had a good weekend? Mine has been pretty standard fare, you know, the sort of adult admin that if you’d ever been warned about as a child you would have headed straight off to Never Land lest your free time accidentally got filled with tasks such as steam cleaning your kitchen floor when in your head you imagined nothing but shopping, champagne and acceptance speeches; ah reality! Don’t you just love it…

I’ll be honest. I am destined to live a life of bitter disappointment as I persistently and doggedly believe that everything is going to be amazing. I never, ever learn. Take the steam cleaner for example; everyone extols the virtues of them but no bastard tells you that you’re going to need those plastic shoe protector things you get in theatre or at new build when you’re using it to stop your feet from getting soaked. Very annoying.

It is extremely rare for people to give you the brutal truth about anything; when I was pregnant not one of my friends said to me- look out for the occasions when you’re bathing your child in the middle of the night to remove the clumps sick from their hair and, just when you think you’ve got it all, they poo in the bath for good measure!!

No one ever, ever seems to say that wedding night sex is more likely to be you, alone  in the bathroom jumping up and down like a kid on a pogo stick just to get yourself out of the ‘control underwear’ you had underneath your frock. Yup, wake up guys, it ain’t a pearl thong and nipple tassels and, by the time you’re all sorted the groom is out for the count.

All of these things are taboo!!

It seems to me that people (by which I mean me), are always thinking that perfection is just around the next bend. I’ve been searching for it since the beginnings of Britpop and that was 20 bloody years ago now. Radio 6 are doing a week of shows on it to make me feel even more ancient!

I thought I’d find it at yoga but no, my competitive nature means I would rather faint mid Warrior than give up before anyone else in the class- I’ve not quite got into the yogi mindset yet it seems and, when at a charity quiz on Friday my team mates thought I was joking when I gave nil points for the answer ‘The girl who kicked over the hornets nest’ That IS NOT the name of the book!! Oh, and PS- the quizmaster can’t just repeat the questions over and over…listen or loose out…god bless my kids, they haven’t got a prayer!!

But, I am beginning to see the merit in ‘Good Enough’. It massively takes the pressure off but it is a slippery slope. One day you’re asking yourself if it’s ok not to iron pillow cases (it is) and the next you’re asking yourself if just turning the duvet cover upside-down and giving it a blast of fabreeze is an acceptable level of hygiene (it’s not…apparently!) Is it ok for the kids to have strawberry laces for breakfast; will they count as one of their 5 a day?!

I guess it’s all about priorities isn’t it. I could be doing my cleaning and ironing now. I could be planning our meals and getting the breakfast stuff out for the morning. I could be repacking the changing bag and all that jazz but I’m not going to. It’s a Sunday night, it’s my 1st blogiversary so I’m going to head downstairs, grab a beer and watch Breaking Bad. Maybe I’ll resume my search for the perfection tomorrow…

Lots of love,



What’s that you say? You didn’t get me a Blogiversary gift?! Not to worry, you can just nominate me for one of these…Brilliance in Blogging Awards-oh, look, here’s the form– that’s handy! If you do fancy that, you’ll need to know the following stuff:

Blog URL:
Twitter Handle: @MumaLeary
Email: if you don’t know it, it doesn’t matter!

I reckon I fit best into the Fresh Voice, Family or Laugh category but you can nominate me wherever you wish, I ain’t picky!


The Gods Honest Truth about Working from Home

So, today has been a wfh day.

People think working from home is a dream, a play about on the computer, with This Morning on in the background. Doing a bit of pottering, a lot of snacking and a little bit of work when absolutely necessary.

Well; just to confirm, this is not the case. It is especially not the case when you are a part time work from home working mum who is trying to squeeze in two jobs and a blog plus the washing and cooking and cleaning and all of the other stuff that you need to keep on top of day to day lest you find yourself at the end of the year flailing under missed parents evening appoinments, dental check-ups and hair appointments.

Important to note I think that by ‘cooking’ I mean transfering an item from fridge to oven and by ‘cleaning’ I mean removing visible stains and signs of fungal growth! Don’t tell me I don’t have standards.

Lets take a whistful look back on today shall we and see where it all went wrong… Read the rest of this entry »


In case of Emergency (Red Cross First Aid App Review)

You know that moment when your baby goes from chomping on a sweet potato ‘chip’ (homemade and not bad for you so don’t tut at the c word) to coughing and spluttering and basically choking?
You know how you panic and have no clue what to do and are frantically looking around the kitchen for someone other than a toddler to keep you calm and tell you what to do? Well I do.

Happily, the errant chip was coughed up pretty quickly and all was well but it is a nerve shredding experience.

I think having babies is similar in a lot of ways to a trip to Alton Towers (other theme parks are available).
It involves lots of anticipation, excitement, adrenalin and screaming. There will always be at least some sick and eventually, you’ll be left poorer, soaking wet and reliving the memories thanks to the dodgy pictures. Read the rest of this entry »


That was the year that was…

Kirsten Cohen

Kirsten Cohen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



The eve of 2014- To me, this sounds like some utterly ridiculous Back to the Future sort of year which is still eons away but no, closer inspection of my brand spanking new ‘Family Organiser’ confirms that we are rapidly approaching the dawn of 2014.

Lets all take a moment now to say a quick WTF?!

By 2014 I was due to be an absolute, fully fledged, completely sorted, Grown up.

I expected to be swanning around like the stunning Kirsten Cohen from The OC (an actual documentary of real life set in the good ol’ U S of A).

Instead I find myself living in a onesie (often stained) careering from calamity to catastrophe via ongoing chaos, exposing myself to randomers at swimming pools and kissing doctors hands in error. 

I  am basically a hybrid of Roseanne (from Roseanne) and Deborah from Everybody loves Raymond stopping just north of Kerry Katona (and that is only because I’m still on husband numero uno- lucky little blighter that he is!!)


Now, just incase you haven’t been with me right from the get go, here is a whistle-stop tour of The Muma Leary Year…hold on to your hats.

Read the rest of this entry »


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (or, how not to make a Christmas Cake)

I knew this was going to happen.

I could have preempted it and stopped this whole hideous situation in its tracks.

I could have taken myself to one side, had a quiet word, somewhere along the lines of;
Look love, you’re not a natural cook, much less a baker so why don’t you just make it easy on yourself.
Buy a Christmas cake.
Other people do.
It doesn’t make you a bad person.
No one even likes Christmas cake so it’s no big deal and, if you really, really must, you can lie and say you made it,
fed it with brandy weekly,
iced it
and stuck on the little tiny people all by yourself.
But no, you wouldn’t listen to clever old Jiminy Cricket would you?
And now, as a direct result of your utter imbecility you’ve been invited to join the WI by Barb.
How did this happen I hear you cry? Well- in the interests of you not becoming Martha Stewarts answer to the Anti Christ I will tell you.
Pull up a chair.

Buying the Perfect Christmas Gift- A survival guide for Blokes. (This blog could save your life)

So, that’s it.

Bonfire night is over and the next official big date in the calendar is Christmas.

It is less than 7 weeks away. Just 41 days people!

That means gents- and I am talking specifically to you (I know about my loyal band of squaddie readers!!) that there is only 40 shopping days remaining until your loved one is left bereft and disappointed crying into their cranberry sauce as a direct result of your lack of thought and imagination.

Sad times indeed.

You think that a poorly thought out gift is no big deal…think again my friend, think again.

A poorly chosen gift will send your Mrs’ into a tail spin. Her brain (which, by the way, is filled with images and froth from such films as The Holiday and Love Actually), will whisper things like

He doesn’t understand me.
How after all this time has he got me so wrong.
Oh my God, our relationship is a sham.

Before you know it there will be either a heavy silence or a pan being thrown at your face.

All happening with a backdrop of in-laws and over excited children. Before 8.30am. Lovely.

It could be you!

It could be you!

Happily, this year you can avoid all of that nastiness and virtually assure yourself of a festive fondle simply by following these simple suggestions…

Read the rest of this entry »


What a to do!!

Hi there!

I am so touched by all the texts, Facebook comments and tweets in response to my guest post today which I wrote in memory of my dad- THANK YOU.

For reasons unknown to me, my scheduled post for today did not upload properly so all of the links etc were missing so, I am reposting now. Maybe, one day I will understand all of this techno stuff…anywho, here it is my dears.


I love a list.

I write them out almost daily detailing all the stuff I need to do or get sorted and then, almost immediately, I go off task, and then later find myself stressing or complaining that I have got too much to do.

Often it seems that Mr L and I are having a ‘to do off’ to prove how busy/important/indispensable we both are.
Conversations tend to go like this…
“How was your day?”
*Draw long breath & sigh deeply*
I just have got so much to do and I can never seem to get to the bottom of the list.
I mean I have to…
And then we both proceed to think of the worst possible things that we ‘have got to do or else the world as we know it will implode.
I have to unblock the shower drain using only my teeth.
And then I’ll need to scrub the grouting with my bare hands.
After that I’ll be cutting the grass with some blunt scissors and then, if I can only make time, I might allow myself to get dressed. Read the rest of this entry »
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