Mumaleary's Blog

Cheaper than therapy

Top Tips for a trip to Disneyland Paris.

Well bloody hell, that half of the year pretty much flew by in a flash didn’t it!

This time next week Mr L will be having the annual classroom show round from the kids and a sly cry when we read the reports because, no matter how we dress it up, they’re growing up and, in the words of ABBA, slipping through our fingers all the time. SOB!

Funnily enough this week has also involved a few mum’s messaging for some insider advice on Disneyland Paris and this my friends means only one thing… people are planning for Christmas. Yup, you heard me, they are planning for CHRISTMAS and, when this popped up in my newsfeed it made perfect sense.

christmas countdown .jpg

Now, if you’re familiar with my blog you’ll know that I’m not big into stuff for the girls preferring experiences and memory making over forgettable plastic clutter any day and it was this that led us to have a personal one on one chat with Mr Christmas himself a few years back…After a bit of toing and froing we decided to go halves on a holiday to Disneyland Paris and this is how we broke the news to the girls:

Disneyland Christmas Letter (1)

They were over the moon and, given that we were going less than 2 days later the excitement never had time to waine.

We looked into booking direct but found the prices quite tricky to work out as they vary from day to day depending on what dates are peak, saver etc and, you pay the rate of the day you arrive for the duration of your stay. In the end we booked through Tui which meant that everything from airport carparking to transfers and our lunch with the Princesses was all sorted in one face to face meeting and everything ran like clockwork.

OBVIOUSLY You want the Disney hotel…I mean look at it!!!


But, I just couldn’t justify the additional cost and I am so glad we didn’t; The Newport Bay was absolutely perfect and an easy walk from the park entrance.

Disney_s Newport Bay Club External at night1_960x960

There is so much I could say about Disney- it was a holiday much more than I could ever have imagined. Even Mr L who readily admits Princesses ‘aren’t really his genre’ adored it. So, what would we advise if you’re taking the plunge this year…

Top tips for a Winter Break?

  1. Stock up at breakfast- we opted for half board accommodation which enabled us to have a really good breakfast each day and also to stock up on fruit and snacks for our day bag to eat whilst queuing for the rides- there is absolutely nothing to be gained from queuing to buy food in the park. It won’t be memorable, it won’t be gourmet and it will mean time wasted when you could be having another go on the Peter Pan ride!
  2. Book activities ahead- Disney do Fairytales like no one else and whilst you’re there, there are so many opportunities to emerse yourself in them. See a show, eat with your favourite princess or enjoy a themed meal- the opportunities are endless. BUT- make sure you take some time to plan this in advance- think about what your littlies enjoy and book accordingly. They do fill up fast and you don’t want to miss out. The website has lots of detail so grab a pen, make a brew and create an itinerary- sounds boring but it is your ticket to a far more enjoyable holiday where you don’t miss out on things because you either didn’t know or didn’t book.
  3. Make use of your bonus hour- if you are staying in certain hotels you are entitled to an extra hour in the park before it opens to the public. It is worth making the effort to get there for this and making your way to the furthest most corner of the park or getting in position for your chosen meet and greet or the parade.
  4. Don’t get sucked in by the stuff- OMG…OMG I had no idea just how much retail there would be on offer literally all over the park. Disney does everything- seriously- from costumes to crockery it is there and it is pricey. A friend gave us this top tip before we went; when your children ask for something say that they can add it to their birthday wish list- that way; you’re not constantly saying no but you’re not buying something every two minutes either. They will either forget about it or, you’ve got a ready made list of things to buy later in the year… at home where it will be cheaper!
  5. Take a nap- The parades and the evening light show are absolutely spectacular. They blew us all away but they are late at night (around 9.30pm) and, when you’ve been on your feet all day that might be a big ask. We went back to the hotel around 4pm, grabbed some z’s and headed back out around 8pm when the park was quieter.
  6. This is a bonus tip…you’re welcome TAKE A KETTLE- apparently, in Europe it is pretty normal not to have a kettle or any tea or coffee facilities in your room- OMG- I was not prepared for that. For an 8 cup a day gal this was hard to take… pack a travel kettle and your fave tea.


There’s plenty more so I’ll probably come back and add to this but, for now the message is simple- If Father Christmas is taking your crew to Disneyland Paris this Christmas, book now, there are some fantastic offers on for free nights, upgrades etc and- browse the website, it’s well worth it.

Have a ball- it’s what memories are made of.


Love Me.


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Sometimes we all need a PJ day & 3 books that made me feel less mad!

Good Morning you gorgeous gaggle and a very happy Pyjamarama day to you! But what’s that I hear you cry?! Well, we’ve all heard of a PJ day or a duvet day. I imagine that we’ve all felt the need to hunker down, pull up the drawbridge and ignore the outside world for a day or two…Pyjamarama day is just the opposite! A UK  wide event where thousands of nurseries, pre-schools, libraries and other baby groups will be staying in their PJ’s to raise money for Booktrust to support their campaign to ensure that every child in the UK gets a bedtime story.


This is the first year that Booktrust have hosted such a day which is a bit of a shame as it would have been the perfect way for me to launch Time for Bed Baby which will be celebrating its 1st birthday this month!

Feedback for the book has been really positive; mums have reported that they feel ‘less alone’ and ‘encouraged by the supportive tone of the book’ which honestly makes me so happy! The whole purpose of the book was to reassure mums that, even if they are alone physically, there is someone out there that knows and understands the way they are feeling and, is telling them it will pass, they are precious too and they deserve the time to take care of their needs too.

This book gave me the ultimate gift of hope. Hope that sleep will come (it has been elusive!) and tomorrow will begin afresh. A practical set of actions, and a story that my little one absolutely loves. Thank you! It’s our family’s favourite and I am sure I will be buying as a gift for my friends.

My local PJ day was hosted by West Kirby library on Tuesday and was absolutely gorgeous- there was a bounce and rhyme session with lots of singing and music followed by a chance for drinks and a chat with other mums and some of the services and groups in the area that families can access such as first aid sessions, swimming classes and music groups. I was so glad I went because honestly; that morning, I nearly didn’t. My anxiety was through the roof, imposter syndrome was choking me;

Seriously; who the hell do you think you are with your stupid book and your mindfulness for mums? Everyone is laughing at you- what makes you think anyone gives a shit what you think?

AND- I was in my pyjamas for crying out loud- I wasn’t exactly going to go unnoticed on my walk from the car park!

Putting myself out there- sharing not only something that I wrote but also my feelings and family has been without a doubt the hardest part of the whole book writing process. I have regularly wondered why I bothered, why people would be interested in my verse, my advice, my experience. I have shrugged off compliments and minimised my achievement because it is a really bloody scary thing to share something that means so much to you with the world, and await judgement….and it is all of these things, all of these feelings that make me sure that sharing them is the right thing to do. Showing others, mums or not, that these feelings pass. That they can be managed, they can be discussed and, it doesn’t make you less of a mum or a woman or a human. It makes you more. To feel like staying in your PJ’s, under the covers and alone save for a cuppa and some fictional characters, but to actually get up, get out and own looking like a total div dropping off the kids and walking through the carpark in the rain whilst wearing your salmon pink birdy pyjama top is enough!

PJ Day

You can’t tell I’m full to the brim with self doubt here can you…

Being kind to others and sharing your experiences so people feel less alone is a success whether that is one person or one million  and all of this is true whether you’re promoting yourself or your business or whether you’re just braving the library bounce and rhyme for the first time. Allowing yourself to hear and believe compliments is hard but, I am getting better; these are two of my favourites:

Every new mum needs this book! The routine of reading this lovely story to your baby each evening, then being prompted to look after yourself is an incredibly valuable tool for new mums. I love the yoga and breathing exercises and I love that taking time in the evening for me has now become routine.

The transition to motherhood wasn’t effortless for me and I wish this had been available when my first was born, I think our bonding experience and in turn, my mental health would have been very much more healthy.

And, in the Booktrust spirit; I am going to share with you some of the books that have made me feel less of a weirdo, more able to manage my mind day to day and be more gentle with myself- whatever life throws at me. 🙂

Bryony Gordon: Mad Girl and Eat, Drink, Run – Bryony ran with me (via Audible) through most of my marathon training! She made me look madder than usual during my Wirral Way jaunts as I nodded and laughed and cried along with her. She is funny, self aware, honest and the perfect illustration of how non of us can possibly know what anyone else is going through unless they share it. I love everything she stands for and have a massive girl crush on her.

Suzy Reading: The self-care revolution – Suzy is a regular contributor to Psychologies magazine and has lots of suggestions on how we can take ‘micro moments’ to look after ourselves. It’s not funny but it makes a lot of sense!

Hal Elrod: The Miracle Moring  **This is mega American and listening to it on audio will only heighten this feeling but, I got loads from it

NB- These books are not magic; you will defo still have days that you feel pants. Soz.

Well; this post has definitely taken a different turn to what I was expecting to write; Sorry but- there you go! You might as well be honest otherwise whats the point?! I was planning on sharing with you the books that my babies loved reading before bed each night and revisiting the idea that was so important for me in the early days, weeks and years; Bath, Book, Bed but- you can read all about that in my book if you want and I’ll come back soon with my other recommended reads.

Have a happy day now.

Loads of love,



PS- If you want to buy a personalised copy of the book drop me a line with the details and I will pop one in the post for you spit spot!

PPS- The eagle eyed among you will have seen I am beginning to change my name on social media from Muma to Tanya…more on that to come…




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Body Image…How’s yours?

When I drafted this post I initially started by saying; “I am sure that it hasn’t escaped your attention that it is Mental Health Awareness week” but then I realised that maybe it had… Maybe the conversation about mental health is like Brexit all over again- I think we are staying in because the people I follow, the feeds I read, the papers I skim all tell me we all share the same view and the UK will remain in the European Union except oh…wait…URG Maybe I think that everyone is becoming more open and aware about mental health, mental illness and ways to self care because that’s where I’m at but actually, there are still huge swathes of people who are affected and feeling afraid and alone with those around them scared and unsure of what to do.
Maybe I see and hear so much about mental health and self care because these are the posts I like and share on social media and then the clever algorithms/ scary big brother types think- like that? You might like this too… and, often, they are right. I love to see posts of people doing good stuff- of Bryony Gordon in her pants saying “this is me and if you don’t like it; jog on. Of people wild swimming or surfing or just enjoying the sunshine. They make me feel good; they make me think- “I might try that” and it has taught me loads, It led me to climb Snowdon at Midnight, it has directed my to brilliant books, perfect podcasts and awesome insta accounts full of positivity and inspiration but, that’s not how it is across the board.
News this week tells me that:

  • 12.5% of adults in the UK today have felt so distressed about their body image that they consider ending their lives.
  • Locally we know that serious issues still remain with Birkenhead recently listed as one of the most depressed communities in the country.
  • Today I hear that yet another teenager has ended her life following a social media poll asking should she live or die.

It is becoming clearer than ever that social media can be a really harmful tool. In the same way that my algorithms keep showing me little squares of healthy recipes, yoga retreats and dogs on surfboards, there will be other people, most likely young people, being shown images of self harm and devastating details on suicide; reinforcing their beliefs and thought patterns. It has to stop and, until social media giants do something tangible to make a difference, we need to know what positive steps we can take for the benefit of both our own mind and body as well as our children’s. I was invited on to Radio City Talk earlier today to speak about Body Image and the impact that can potentially have on our mental health and, because I am so passionate about this, I couldn’t possibly fit in everything I wanted to say in the 20 minutes we had (They should give me my own show really) so, for those that missed it, you can catch it again here and, for those that want to know more, read on! Read the rest of this entry »

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My Wellchild Why #VLM2019

All being well, this time in 3 weeks I’ll be sipping on a shandy with my fifth (and probably final) London Marathon hanging round my neck. Having deferred last year due to a niggling knee and a dose of depression which stole my running mojo, I can’t wait to get to the start line and soak up what is always an incredible and emotionally charged atmosphere.

I will be heading to the start line this year nursing a hurty hip, a niggling knee and an achy ankle. I will be celeb spotting at the Green start and draped in one of the new capes that VLM are trialling as just one of several measures to reduce the carbon footprint of the race and am aiming for a new PB- keep everything crossed for me! This year, I am running for an incredible charity; WELLCHILD and, I thought you might like to know a little more about my why…

Once upon a time (you might need to suspend belief for a minute) the government made some really poor decisions and decided that front line staff working with children at risk of entering the care system were a luxury. Now, it would be incredibly easy here for me to go off on a massive rant here about the subsequent rises in gangs, violent crime and the fact that decisions such as this have had an impact which will take decades to undo but, as we all have things to do I will press on with the story at hand…

After my friends and I were told that we were being made redundant, I logged on to gumtree and searched for a job that would help pay the rent whilst I looked for something else. What I found was an amazing weekend position looking after a gorgeous girl and supporting a fantastic family who had a child with complex medical needs. That little girl was called Phoebe and she was born with Cerebral Palsy having suffered complications at birth. Phoeb’s was not able to talk or walk and used an electric wheelchair to get around but she was definitely able to make her feelings and needs known. I fell 100% in love with her!
At the interview I was so afraid of using the wrong terms or saying the wrong thing; and I certainly made my fair share of mistakes; having never supported a child with significant medical needs before it was a steep learning curve for me but, it was also one of the best things I have ever done because it taught me so much about life- about empathy, guilt, unconditional love and just getting on with things, how ever challenging the circumstances.

I saw how much love and care her mum and dad gave everyday and how difficult they found it to give as much time and attention to their other children. I saw how frustrating Phoebe found it when I couldn’t quite figure out what she wanted despite both of us trying our best and I saw how clever and funny and stubborn and cheeky she was- it was a learning curve and a massive privilege. I worked with Phoeb’s and her family for almost 3 years. She is now 17 (which is frankly ridiculous) totally gorgeous with a whole life list of plans that she is smashing her way through as I type and I am so proud to know her! Me being a part of the family (which is what so many carers are) enabled mum and dad to get some much needed respite, to spend time with their other two children and to do all of the usual day to day admin that comes with being a parent… washing, home-work, taxiing to parties- you know the score- well; times that by at least 100 and you’re still a world away from the daily challenges that these families face.

On Thursday, as Mr L, the girls and I were leaving the house for an afternoon at Chill Factore the post arrived and in it was this- I cried most of the way to Manchester;

ava pic

ava words

As our two girls sat in the back of our non adapted car chatting and reading and singing I was totally overwhelmed. How lucky we are to be able to get up and go, to take part in activities and visit cool (pun intended) places like Chill Factore without considering anything more than whether we had remembered 4 pairs of gloves for 2 hours in the snow… news flash… we hadn’t!

Running the marathon for Wellchild will hopefully show what a huge amount of respect I have for all of the families across the UK that are caring for children with complex needs as well as all of the nurses and support services that work along side them. It is a difficult and life long journey.


The work Wellchild does allows families like Ava’s and Phoebe’s and hundreds of others, to live. It enables them to get home and get on. It provides training so that families are able to administer medical support at home. The Better at Home Suite at Edge Hill is a wonderful facility which enables parents to learn the necessary skills to care for their child at home in a safe and supportive environment. Wellchild also funds nurses who can visit families at home to support with medical needs and prevent prolonged hospital stays. There is so much more I could say about Wellchild, quite simply, they are life savers- check out the family stories  on the Wellchild website and you’ll understand exactly what I mean.

I would love you to support my marathon fundraising efforts by donating a fiver, a tenner or whatever you can afford, in doing so you’re helping to make sure families all over the country have the care and support they need to be able to look forward with hope.

Click the here now to make a donation…. PLEASE- every single donation helps.

wellchild logo






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Whitney was right, the children are our future.

Since mid January I’ve been attempting a weird hybrid of the Marie Kondo ‘Life changing magic of tidying’ and The amazing Organised Mumcleaning method and; spoiler alert- it actually is life changing. I have cut the criminal amount of crap in our playroom to a manageable level. We have reduced our rainforest of paperwork to a few files which is a massive relief. Mr L and I spent part of Valentine’s day at the tip – true story and, I am on first name terms with the ladies at the charity shop. I have sold lots of toys, games and clothes that the girls have grown out of and the money has gone to my marathon charity- Wellchild.

Having a cleaner, tidier, emptier house feels nice. Knowing where to find things saves me time and stress and I am a less shouty mummy which we are all happy about.

Considering which items “spark joy” has led to a serious reduction in both random clutter and kids crafting efforts but it has also made me acutely aware of the sheer volume of waste packaging which exists and, if our home is anything to go by, the insane amount of plastic and paper we use and discard on a daily basis.

People do seem to be thinking more about waste, recycling and climate change but, ironically, the pace of change is glacial and the people making the biggest noise are the kids which fills me with equal levels of hope and shame.

Our throw away generation with our demand for cheap products, disposable fashion and convenience are responsible for the global crisis we now find ourselves in. Governments have ignored the issues and it is only now, now children are literally taking to the streets to protest that we are beginning to take notice. Greta Thunberg, the 16yr old Swedish girl who speaks so passionately about the crisis and has been protesting each Friday since last August, has brought a new awareness and urgency to the situation. Her parents must be so proud. So often it is left to children to show adults how to behave, the art of what is possible and the power of words; Malala Yousafzai is another incredible example that springs to mind.

If we all commit to making some small changes the effect will be more than the sum of its parts but, we are way beyond small changes now. We need BIG changes. We need BIG companies to evaluate what they can do reduce their waste, their carbon emissions and we need to all recognise that our obsession with stuff has to stop.

We need to buy less, drive less and use less.

Companies like Jo Malone need to consider their recycling policies- offering a refill service or allowing customers to return empties doesn’t devalue a brand. It means you value your clients and recognise your corporate social responsibilities. Last week, fed up of waiting for a change in policy I took my candle jars, room diffusers, soap dispensers and boxes to the tip for recycling. 😞 it’s better than landfill but recycling still takes energy and creates waste. Reusing is better, refilling stations would be better. Waste Not Want Not in Birkenhead Market can do it. You need to step up. We all do.

As ever, Matt Haig is able to articulate this brilliantly:

I know that’s uncomfortable. I know it’s not what people want to hear and I appreciate that it requires us to make changes and it is a pain in the ass. It requires less time and less planning to jump in the car for a 2 minute trip as opposed to a 10 minute scoot but, needs must. Our children need us to step up, to pay attention to their protest and to make changes. Plus; there are so many positives that come out of doing things more slowly- we talk more, notice more and engage more.

What changes are you making in your home to make a positive difference to the planet? We’d love your top tips.

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A sort of Poem for my sister (who is 40!)

Soraya, Soraya Soru.

I have written a poem for you*

When someone has been in your life for the whole of your life, it is difficult to effectively articulate just how much they are a part of you. How deeply entrenched they are in your path to this point. It isn’t a given that just because you have a sister you’ll like each other and you’ll grow up to like each other more. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be lucky enough to find yourself a friend for life but, for me at least, this is absolutely the case.

This poem doesn’t all rhyme.

I’m not even sure if it is a poem in the truest sense of the word but anyway, here it is, as per request. It is a love letter to you, my darling sister who has my back, always.

I hope you know that I’ll always have yours.


40 years ago today you popped out mums sunroof to say ‘G’day!

Into the warm Australian sun you opened your eyes to a life time of fun.

Daddy held you in the palm of his hand

(and realised then you’d never be naturally tanned)

Mum was bowled over by her bundle of joy

(She still is today- though you sometimes annoy!)

From a geeky girl too shy to speak,

Whose 3 times tables made her weep.

Who played a Gnat in the school play

And didn’t ever get her way.

Who ripped a hymn book and did a wee,

Who had blue glasses so she could see.

To the wonderful woman you are today,

Wow, what a journey, what can I say?

(and here is where we move into the non rhyming bit)…

You are the fabric of my childhood.

All of my happiest memories have you in them and I am proud to call you my sister. You should be proud of the person you are too;


As beautiful inside as you are out you keep many independents afloat simply by being so willing to get your brows and lashes and bikini line done. A true heroine of small business!

Seriously though; I don’t know anyone that has a bad word to say about you. You are kind, caring, compassionate and a true forever friend to so many.

The fierce love you have for your family is obvious and Peter, Amy, Alf, All of us- are lucky to have you.

family photo yellow dresses

What I am trying to say Soraya is; (and apologies again about the lack of rhyming)

You are the best sister I could ever have hoped for. Every single little quirk which makes you you, makes me smile…. and occasionally roll my eyes! Hanging out with you makes me happy (usually). You make me more sparkly and silly and who doesn’t need more of that in their life?

For those that don’t know you know you (if you know what I mean), it would be easy to focus on the fizz, the frocks, the fascinators and the fabulous array of shoes (and they really are fabulous!)

Soray and PV Tux

soray wedding fagan

But this is really just the handbag stuff.

Sure; you might have more social engagements than Meghan Markle (12 weddings in 12 months is a particular high!) Your God Child count is higher than the birth rate of some small countries but; that is simply because you mean so much to so many people. They know they can trust you and that you will be cheering them on. You are the person people trust with their deepest fears, their scary secrets and their amazing achievements. That’s not a privilege afforded to everyone.

I adore the zest for life you have.

You welcome people into your life with open arms and an open mind. You forgive people with an open heart and you are always ready for fun.

xmas pudding soray

You don’t get to 40 without facing some adversity and life hasn’t all been plane sailing has it?

Whose is?

You love people, you lose people and we all have to learn to adapt to the holes that they leave behind but adapting isn’t forgetting. You have a little piece of every special someone you’ve ever loved locked inside your head and heart- they’ve all had a part to play in the person you are here in this moment and for every moment going forwards.

daddy and grandma


I am so happy that you have your family unit and that me and my family are able to be such a close part of it.


cheseter zoo all kids m and v

I am so glad that you are always up for an adventure and don’t take life too seriously; I can not imagine a day when you’ll be too old for a day at a fair or a dip in the sea and I hope I can always be there grabbing a selfie with you.

sis selfie 2

mum, me and soray sunnies on.jpg



Happy Birthday Soray. Here’s to many more.


 *sort of…your name isn’t great for rhyming to be honest!


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What is art anyway (and can anyone appreciate it?) #Aurora

A few months ago I received an email from the lovely people at FACT Liverpool asking me whether I’d like to be a part of an advisory group to help discuss and develop ideas to engage a broader audience as they move forwards. I was thrilled to be asked of course but, as I composed my reply I felt it necessary to fess up to the fact (excuse the pun) that I am absolutely hopeless at art and in fact, Art in its most traditional form is something that in the past I have been a little intimidated by.

I’ve always felt that my brain doesn’t really ‘get it’. As if the artist is trying to express something way beyond my comprehension and, as a result I’ve probably tried too hard to understand it instead of just seeing what I see and enjoying it from my own perspective. Second guessing people isn’t fun at the best of times and second guessing an unmade bed or a cow in formaldehyde wasn’t really a priority for me in the early noughties so it’s fair to say that I’ve sort of shied away from it a bit and haven’t got much knowledge of the traditional art world at all. I’ve never spent a huge amount of time in galleries. Libraries yes; Mr L and I spent hours in the ‘main branch’ of New York Central Library many years ago- and I could happily reside in Liverpool library with its poetry and glass domes. May be I just naturally focused my attention on the stuff that I understood more readily. The Peoples Palace in Glasgow for example held my attention for the best part of a day and I see something new and absorbing every time we go to the Liverpool museum. But, traditional picture on wall writing in a box underneath galleries haven’t often been on the must visit list. As I grow older though, I really would like the time to amble around a gallery and ponder the why’s and the wherefores of the pictures before me but, with two young children there isn’t a huge amount of time for that at the moment!

Anyway, back to FACT. Fact actually stands for Foundation for art and creative technology and they are the UK’s leading media arts centre offering a unique programme of exhibitions, film and participant-led art projects. Based in the town centre of Liverpool FACT is just one of the many organisations in the area that helps keep Liverpool at the absolute top of its game in respect of the quality and variety of exhibitions and artists of all disaplines it attracts. There is always something to see. This evening that something was the preview event for FACT’s latest installation; AURORA; an “epic immersive experience” based within the bowels of the old Toxteth Reservoir and I was invited along.

Honestly, I very, very nearly didn’t go. It was cold, pouring with rain, I didn’t know anyone else that would be there and a large part of me had that old nigle… you won’t get it and everyone else will be proper arty types that know what they’re taking about… gulp.

In the end, I went along mainly because I had asked my mum to babysit and I didn’t want to mess her around but I am so very glad I did;

It reminded me of the beauty of people power.

This installation is a collaboration between artists from the UK, India and Indonisia. It has been 2 years in the making! It’s involved schools from across Toxteth as well as the wider community. There has been multiple sponsors and funding applications to bring the artists vision to reality. The people on the doors, giving out tickets and wrist bands and holding the torches are FACT volunteers. Absolutely everyone involved is so proud of what they’ve achieved together and it really felt like a community effort as we gathered in the church hall for out briefing this evening.

It consumed me

For 40 minutes I was removed from the chaos and mundanity of modern life. To begin with I was still that anxious non artist trying to second guess what the real artists wanted me to think or see or feel at particular points but, the longer I stood, the less that mattered to me. I was just totally absorbed by the lighting and the hauntingly stirring music; it filled my ears and reverberated in my bone and when it was over I felt like I wanted to cry!

It was just for me.

I am so pleased I was able to attend and experience it completely by going alone. I didn’t hear anyone else’s take on it. I didn’t have to articulate what I thought of it and I didn’t have to rush or linger. I was there viewing it in my own time on my own terms.

As we exited the experience we were handed postcards asking

“what did the installation mean to you?”

At the time I couldn’t find a way to articulately express my thoughts so here they are a few hours late.

Water is life. It is constant but it is ever changing. It has the power to soothe and to scare. To calm and to kill. It will outlast us all and it is beautiful.

Thank you FACT. Thank you to the artists; Invisible Flock, thank you to everyone that played a part in getting this art installation to completion. I found it mood altering, mind opening, utterly absorbing and completely consuming. In short, brilliant.

Thanks for reminding me that art comes in various forms and it is for all. Thanks for bringing it to a new space and a new audience. I can’t wait for the next meeting (if you’ll have me back?!)

The installation is open between 21st Sept and 7th October and is well worth a visit. Book online and take your wellies…unless you want to get wet feet! Find out more online at the FACT website and, if you do go, don’t forget to tell me what you think!

Until next time!

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It’s a tough job…no seriously, it is!

Those of you that have followed my blog or follow me on social media will likely know by now that I often go about things in fits and starts. I have always been the same and, it is something that I have to work quite hard to manage; food wise I can be feast or famine and it a similar story with exercise and writing. I love writing, I love running, I love yoga and every single time I do any of them I wonder why I don’t (or haven’t til now) done a little bit of all of them daily! They all make me feel like the best me and I like that me most!

Anyway… Last week, when I launched my book, Time for Bed Baby, (which as an aside you can buy here now- totally shameless plug 🙂 ) my lovely friend Karen came along to support and reminded me just how much I enjoy writing and encouraged me to just do it! It is both amazing and infuriating to think that multi award winning blogger of Mini Travellers fame asked me for my tips when starting her blog. Amazing that someone as smart and savvy as Karen even felt the need to ask little old me and infuriating to think of how my blog might have grown had I just been a. little. bit. more. consistant… AAARRRGGGHHH!! Anywho; That is where consistency, hard work, general loveliness and talent get you.

time for bed.png

In truth, I haven’t always felt like I’ve had anything of value or importance to say and, since I am neither a clothes horse or a beauty babe reviews on either of those topics were a non starter (in my humble opinion!) but, in my new role as BDM for The Wirral Visitor Economy Network I am finding that I do have a go to topic when I am lacking any first hand ‘Muma Leary type news! so, here’s today’s outing…

As I type I am soaking in the view from Thurstaston country park having popped in to see three brilliant new businesses spitting distance from  our house- WINNING!

First up,Just Baked @ Church Farm.


On 13th June lovely David and Aidrienne took over the café at Church Farm. They have brightened it up, changed the menu and it is looking great. I chatted to Aidrienne as she made scones that my Grandma would have been jealous of!  In less than a month they have turned a 2* trip advisor rating to a 5. It is clean and bright and well worth a visit especially as they welcome dogs- HOORAY!

Excitingly, Church Farm are now leasing small units to local businesses so expect more exciting changes there soon. You can find out more by following them on Facebook  as well as Instagram and Twitter.

Next up is The White Owl; I considered a disguise for this one- last time I was here my girls were particularly feral and knocked over a coffee and a juice in quick succession; not the chilled out yummy mummy vibe I was going for! I needn’t have worried, I was met by Zara the manager who was warm and friendly and keen to tell me about their live music Saturdays and other regular events such as Globe Boppers which can be found at the Owl each Wednesday. Free parking, fab coffee (when it’s not lashed on the floor!) and a glorious view which I soaked up in solitude.


So far, it’s sounding  like a tough day hey! I KNOW- Don’t get me started on the smug; I can not even articulate how lucky I am feeling  today! I adore living on the Wirral. LOVE. IT. Partly this is down to the fact that I have got a core of immense friends and family but it’s also down to the feel of the place, the views and the mix of coast and countryside as well as the towns and businesses. I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather raise my girls.  Soznotsoz.

heswall beach

we’re close to the sea! whoop!

Today I was lucky enough to meet the awesome new owner of GJ’s coffee shop, Fliss. Straight away it was obvious that she shares the same #WonderfulWirral vibe and is full of exciting plans for GJ’s over the coming weeks and months. Fliss took over less than 3 months ago and has already put her stamp on the popular spot- the jukebox will be back in working order very soon and the café will be opening earlier on a Sunday as of September to coincide with the launch of Junior Park run- perfect!

Foodwise you’ve got it all covered. Full on breakfasts with very generous portions, light as a feather meringues from Nova in Heswall, Fudge from Irby and some incredible looking vegan cakes from Cakehole in Liverpool.  Dogs are welcome indoors and out and they have their very own biscuits, ice cream as well as a ‘Star Barks’ water stop outside. Check out their page on Facebook and Insta and show Fliss and her team some love.


If the insane quality of my writing has enticed you to want to pop to our #ParadisePeninsula for a break you can find out more about what to do, where to stay and all that jazz on the Visit Wirral website. See you soon!

Much Love,




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30 years on. Lessons I’ve learnt about grief.

I wanted to write something articulate and beautifully moving to mark the 30th anniversary of my dad’s death but, it just isn’t coming to me.

The verses are disjointed and fractured and just don’t fit properly together. They’re ok-some bits are really good (yes- that is the sound of me blowing my own trumpet!) but it’s not the way I imagined it would…a bit like life really.

The truth is you can’t always make something so sad sound romantic and poetic.

Sometimes things just are what they are and all you can do is survive and remake a different life from the wreckage of what was left behind.

I am 37 still mourn the life we could have had. I see Adam with our girls and my heart swells and breaks in equal measure. I want to have more of my own memories with my daddy, as a fsmily of 4. I want my children to have a grandpa and my mum to have a mate.

But- if we had that, maybe we wouldn’t have this- our super tight, absolutely unbreakable three muscateer mentality. And yet, knowing how amazingly fortunate I am doesn’t undo how cheated I feel. Such is life.

I love my life. I love the fact that I know absolutely unequivocally how loved I was and am by my family. I love my daughter’s and my husband and my friends and I share my opinions and emotions with anyone who shows a passing interest. That is who I am.

I am who I am because of the experiences I have had- we all are. I’m nothing special!

Was this the path I would have chosen- no way.

Do I wish my daddy was here? Daily.

Am I making the best life I can with the hand I was dealt? Damn right.

Our loss is no one else’s lesson.

There’s no way of forcing people to truly appreciate their lives and their loves through someone else’s unrelated experience;

It’s the grief equivalent of saying finish your dinner, other people are starving. It doesn’t work!

But…what if you could learn a weeny lesson…what if you could really truly imagine that today was your last day… would you walk a little slower, squeeze a little tighter, linger a little longer, laugh a little louder and love a little harder?

Course you would! I’d recommend it.

(PS- here is the verse…work in progress!)

30 years ago today,
My darling daddy passed away.
He went without fanfare or fuss,
And broke the hearts of all of us.

He left 2 girls without a dad.
And even now it makes me sad.
He left our mum without a mate
This was just our hand of fate.

I miss the things I never had.
I miss just being with my dad.
I missed him walk me down the aisle.
He missed cuddles with his new grandchild.

He missed growing old with my mum.
They thought the best was yet to come.
We miss him every single day.
We wish it hadn’t been this way.

I would have grown up anyway
But in a very different way.
And so it is and will always be.
The death of him is what makes me me.

With lots of love.

Muma. X


End of an era (or…are you ready Red Class!)

So, this is it…this is the moment we have all been working towards- 2 bona fide children in actual school. Not nursery (with the awesome 52 weeks a year provision!). Not pre-school (with the option to bring your cuddlies and skip the odd day) but actual, get fined if you bunk off, big school.

I appreciate that, having been through this whole rigmarole just a year ago I should be double hard and ready to toss the baby into the class with barely a backwards glance but- having actually cried in a coffee shop today I can sense that it’s not going to be quite that simple. 😂

I have spent most of my days over the last 4 years and 9 months with my littlie and I am not quite ready for this part of our lives to be over. Admittedly when she was 2 1/2 she was a bloody nightmare for much of the time but- we weathered that particular storm and now she is my shadow, my constant companion and I am going to miss her like crazy!

So- some words of advice that I wrote for her naming day are getting a second airing tonight- for 2 reasons;

1) they are still true

2) my creative juices are exhausted!

Advice for Life.

Good grief!
What advice people can give.
Going round telling others how they think they should live.

So Hannah, these snippets were written just for you.
Take them or leave them, it’s all up to you.

Be kind.
Be polite.
Try to sleep through the night.
If you think something’s wrong try putting it right.

Dream big dreams Han,
as big as you dare,
For if you should stumble we’ll always be there.

Work hard at school.
Never, ever be cruel.
But don’t be afraid of bending some rules.

If you see someone struggle,
Don’t walk on by,
Give a hand, give a smile
Please don’t be shy.

Don’t try to conform,
Just be yourself.
You are at least the equal of anyone else.

Don’t think life is easy,
Sometimes it is tough.
But that’s no excuse to treat others rough.

Don’t get confused by money or fame,
At the end of your life all you have is your name.
My sweetheart, you are bound to make some mistakes.
No worries, that happens to all of life’s greats.

Life is for living,
You get just one go.
So live it my darling and never let go.

Right-thats that! Let’s get out the big girl pants and help our super second into the next phase…

Good Luck Hannah- you’re going to be amazing.



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