Saturday, 31 December 2011

Today we are one

One year ago...

31,536,000 seconds
525,960 minutes
365 days
274 posts
1 year
1 blog

Today Bod for tea is one year old. I can hardly believe it.

When I pressed publish on 31 December 2011 it was a moment of sheer panic and sheer hope. After the birth of in China I went to a place inside myself that I struggled to find my way back from. It's a threadbare cliche but I was lost and I needed to find myself again. Tippy-tapping away in my little corner of cyberspace gave me signposts along that journey, a creative outlet, therapy, fun and the beautiful gift of meeting some fabulous bloggers along the way.

And what a year it was... (prepare to duck, low flying annual round-up on the way).

In January I confessed I was an  and a  and finally lost my .
In February I launched the , had a makeover thanks to the fabulous Shabby Blogs, wrote my first guest post over at  (thank you Mich for being such a wonderful supporter of new bloggers), published  and revealed that my .
In March I shared  and our  and wondered .
April brought a surprise nomination for the MAD awards, more wondering about  and the realisation that I don't have .
In May I was particularly , lost control of my temper again in  and started the to our last attempt at a second child.
In June I realised it's ok to be a and shared my .
In July we came home (yaaay!), I confessed and that I'm a through and through.
In August I shared my , and told the tale of .
In September I explained why I was , felt  and launched the   guest post series.
In October I wondered when , had for a new baby bag and realised .
November brought , a for a bloggers laptop and the realisation that I'm not ready for the '?' questions to begin.
Finally, in December I offered a for making a Christmas sticker for your blog.

(Ok, you can get up again, it's over.)

Over the last twelve months I've joined in some lovely linkys including Reasons to be Cheerful over at , Listography at , the Writing Workshop at Sleep is for the Weak, and Dear So and So at . Thank you to these fab ladies!

Blogging has brought me many gifts but reflecting back on this blogoversary the most important is the realisations that come from reading back over a year of scribbles, seeing our path in scenes from the journey and understanding just how far we've come.

Here's to 2012 y'all. Let's make it another good one.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

All is still quiet in the Christmas house,
Nothing is stirring not even a mouse,
But soon family will arrive spreading festive cheer,
And so I wish you all a very Merry Christmas 
and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Dear So and So... the kitchen edition


Dear Monday,

Are you the last day of the kitchen saga perchance? Are you the last day that workmen will be trampling through the house, leaving the doors open to let in the freezing air? Are you the last day that I will be making breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining room on two-ring electric camping stove? Are you the last day that I will be called 'luv', 'darlin', 'Mrs'? Are you the last day that the contents of the kitchen will be spread around the house preventing us from starting our Christmas festivities properly? YEEEEEAAAAAHHHH!

Bored of being on the outside of the kitchen looking in.


Dear kitchen,

Wow, have you lost weight? Are those new clothes?  Have you had *whispers* b-o-t-o-x? You look amazing!

Smug new kitchen owner *beams*


Dear rest of the house,

I'm SO sorry you've had to put up with that prima donna of a kitchen for the last three weeks. She is now about to be primped and preened for the last time before Christmas and then life will get back to normal. You've had the patience of a saint.

Not so patient house owner.


Dear Christmas Tree,

Yes, I know it's cold out there in the garage and you want to come into the warm by the fire. I promise to decorate you within an inch of your life this week. Just as soon as Monday is over.

Almost in the festive spirit.


Dear DD,

My darling that you for being so incredibly good for the last three weeks while we turned the house upside down and shook it. You ate in the dining room, waved hello to the workmen and reminded Mummy not to go into the kitchen and to be careful not to fall down. You managed not to damage yourself on all the tools lying around the place and haven't trashed the new cupboard doors with your car (yet). Thank you, thank you. You rock!

I love you,


Do you have Dear So and So... letters this week? Link 'em up for the last time before Christmas over at

Thursday, 15 December 2011

A Christmas sticker for your blog

Ho! Ho! Ho! With only 11 days until the big day I thought it was about time to add a little Christmas cheer to the blog. But when I googled 'add christmas decorations to your blog' the results were a bit, well, thin to say the least. Snow is always a good option, but my background is too light for it to show up (if you'd like to add some snow to your blog though, there's a good script available from Kurt Grigg) and I didn't want to take down my geeeeooorgous Shabby Blogs header just in case I couldn't get it back up again *faints at mere thought of it*.

So I decided to make a wee sticker for my sidebar to wish you lovely lot a very Merry Christmas. Took about 20 minutes all in and I used the fabulous Piknik site to do it. Want to make one for yourself? Read on...

1. Go to Piknik and hover over the Collage tab at the top, then click on the fancy collage link that drops down. Select the design you like best. If you scroll down you'll see there are some free Christmas and winter holiday designs that you don't have to upgrade to the premium package for.

2. Upload one or more photos from your computer, Picassa, Facebook etc to add to the design.

3. When you're happy with the way your photo looks in the design click the yellow customise button at the top of the page and use the edit tabs to personalise the design with a sepia tint, rounded borders, Christmas stickers and/or a message of your choice.

4. When you're happy with the whole design, use the basic edits tab on the left hand side to change the size of the image so that it will fit where you want it to on your blog. I chose my sidebar but you could add it above your posts or wherever you like.

4. Save it to your computer and upload it to your blog. This is a Blogger blog so I added it as a picture page element in my sidebar without a title.

Ta da! You're very own Christmas message for your readers.

A Simple Giveaway: the winner is...

This week you had the chance to win a copy of Keel's Simple Diary vol. 2 in this . And I'm delighted to be able to sprinkle a little festive cheer in the direction of the winner who is....

Mama Syder 


Please drop me an email to bodfortea (at) gmail (dot) com with your address details and I'll get Santa to drop it round in his sleigh. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A Simple Giveaway

As much as I love bashing away my inane thoughts on this 'ere little blog, I also love keeping an offline journal. Recording thoughts and feelings from this roller-coaster ride so that I can look back on times past and see how I've grown and progressed (or not, ahem). After DD was born I had teensy spot of trouble adapting to life as a Marmeee and my journal became my therapist. I poured my heart out to it, scribbling things I simply couldn't say out loud for fear of being carted off to the loony bin. I've also got a bit of thing about stationery in general (but shhhhh... don't tell anyone).

Recently I've been finding that I don't have the time to spend writing long journal entries and so I just write a sentence or two that summarises that day or how I'm feeling. A snapshot of a point in time, if you like. But then I was sent a copy of Keel's Simple Diary and I realised that there was another way to record those moments. A fun way, a playful way, a 'where is my brain today' kinda way.

Simple Diary™, and it's newest version Simple Diary™ Volume 2, are the brainchild of artist and writer Philip Keel. They're his response to having too information and not enough meaning, and needing to remember what made him smile. Hurrah for that!

Apparently there are three main reasons why most people, although they have tried, won't keep a diary:

  • Not every day is very eventful.
  • It actually takes a lot of discipline to write.
  • In retrospect, many find what they have written embarrassing (though this has never stopped me).
So, in a nutshell, what Keel's Simple Diary™ gives you is a structure to record your day, based around a series of playful prompts. For example (you can click on the image to make it larger):

I know, it's a little strange, but I like where it takes my brain. It makes me consider the events of my day differently. Not just as the boring flotsam and jetsom floating around in my life, clodding up the pipes, but as interesting encounters and strange pairings. I like that. I like being made to think. The questions also make great prompts for other writing. Just dip in, find a question that sparks an idea and off you go.

Keel's Simple Diary™ would be a fab stocking filler. It's beautifully presented, available in six lovely colours and bound with gold edged pages with a matching page holder, but I do think that the £10 price tag is a bit too high. Keel's Simple Diary™is available at Tate Modern, Foyles, National Portrait Gallery, Tate Liverpool, Mango, Rough Trade, Urban Outfitters, Blackwells, TASCHEN and, of course,

I was sent one copy of Keel's Simple Diary™ Vol 2 in Deep Red to review and, in the spirit of Christmas giving I'm going to offer it to you my dear readers *beams with festive cheer*. Just leave a comment below telling me why you keep a journal and include your email address or Twitter ID so I can contact you if you win. You can tweet this giveaway or mention it on Facebook too and I'll add an extra entry in for you, just make sure you leave another comment so I know.

The small print...
I was sent a copy of Keel's Simple Diary™ to review. I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own. The giveaway is open to UK residents aged 18 or over, one entry per household, and will be open until 6am (ish) on Thursday 15 December 2011. There is no cash alternative. The winner will be chosen at random via The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen, again at random. You don't have to subscribe to Bod for tea or like my or follow me on as part of your entry. (But I wouldn't complain if you did!)

ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Friday, 2 December 2011

Fussy Eaters Support Club - December

It's been an interesting month in toddler food land. With our new kitchen going in there's so much coming and going that I expected not a morsel to pass her lips to be honest, but she's actually been eating really well. Ever the pessimist I'm blaming a growth spurt, rather than the fact that she might have actually started enjoying eating *gasp*. She's been polishing off  and all her usual favourites with relish (well, BBQ sauce actually, but you get the point).

Now to start planning how to get her to eat some of our Christmas dinner... do I wait until she's napping to serve the bird, knowing that way I'll get to enjoy it with the family? Or do I serve it earlier so that she can  join in knowing that I'll be trying to get her to eat the whole time? What are your plans for involving your fussy eater in the Christmas festivities?

How are you all getting on with your little one's eating habits? Any hints and tips to share since we last got together? Link up and share your stories...

Here's a reminder what the Fussy Eaters Support Club is all about...

One of the things I love most about blogging is knowing that I'm not alone in the the trials and tribulations of mummyhood. A problem shared is a problem, well not quite halved, but it's certainly a lot less stressful knowing there are some other rowers in the same boat as you. My current trial du jour is the seemingly never-sending saga of DD's fussy eating habits. We've tried puree, we've tried baby-led weaning, we've tried eat-this-or-nothing, we've tried it all.

I got to thinking that there must be other Mummys and Daddys out there who have the same goal that I do; for DD to eat as much as she wants of what we're eating as a family, but to at least eat some of it. Perhaps we can support each other? And so the Fussy Eaters Support Club was born. Each month (or so) I'll post up a linky thingy for anyone with a fussy eater to air their story, share recipes and their tips for what works (and what doesn't), to celebrate their fussy eater successes or to just have a good old fashioned whinge about it all.


The Fussy Eaters Support Club doors for DECEMBER are now open!

Image: nuttakit /

Pinch, punch

No, contrary to it's title, this is not a post about bullying, although I do feel like this year is prodding me in the back a bit if I'm honest. Yesterday was 1st December so it was pinch, punch, first day of the month all round. I'll admit the postman looked a bit surprised as he rubbed his arm though. Anyway, we're now on day four of the 'rip out your kitchen's innards, fiddle with them and put them back looking sparkly just in time for Christmas' project. We're camped out in the dining room with a two ring electric burner, a microwave, a kettle and a toaster. So far we've managed not to burn the house down, for which I'm grateful. In fact, now that the cupboard doors are on and the new breakfast bar is in place I'm even allowing myself the smallest twinge of excitement.We might just pull this off.

Here's my other reasons to be cheerful this week, hosted this time for the lovely Mich by .

1. Advent Calendars. Yesterday we hung DD's gorgeous advent calendar (yes, it will be my Silent Sunday snap) in the playroom. Hang crafted by Nana it is a work of art. DD climbed up on her little play table, stuck her hand into pouch number one and pulled out a mini chocolate snowman. She was clearly impressed with this new magical chocolate generating machine and wanted to trying another pouch to see if the same thing happened again. Clearly she takes after her Mother.

2. Kitchen. The new oven and fridge are now in and the granite is being fitted today. But you know what made me smile most this morning? Soft-close doors. Not matter how hard I try to slam them, they slowly shut with a soft whisper. Just awesome.

3. Food. DD's has been eating SO well this week considering all the distruption. It's usually the first thing affected if change is afoot (followed shortly after by my mood). Yesterday for lunch she polished off , pasta in tomato sauce, fruit smoothie, banana and honey, yoghurt, diluted orange juice and some crisps. Woo hoo!

4. . As it's now the beginning of the month, it's time for another Fussy Eaters Support Club linky to go up. I love reading everyone else's successes and challenges. *Wanders off to start writing this month's linky post*

Struggling to find a reason to smile this week? If all else fails you can always use the Reasons To Be Cheerful - The Musical Random Generator (I'll admit I was impressed that Mich had managed to orchestrate a musical as well, she really is an awesome lady...)


Image: zirconicusso /
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