Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The day the little word was born

It was a beautiful Wednesday morning the day the little word was born. The sun fairly sparkled through the leaves of the old oak tree outside the window, dappling the ground below with a checkerboard of spots that waltzed this way and that in the breeze. The word was so full of excitement and promise for the future. Who would he be sitting next to? Another word or just a letter? What magic would they make together, he wondered. But he never found out. In two strokes of a rubber tip his small frame was erased forever. Cruel, cruel world.

 This week's prompt is Wednesday. Check out the other entries in the 100 word challenge for grown ups over at Julia's Place.

Image: Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, 30 January 2012

Review and 15% discount offer: Flexibath toys from White Step

There's an unwritten rule in toddlerland - water MUST be played with. DD has taken this rule to heart and can regularly be found splashing about in the sink, bath, muddy puddles, anywhere where there's some form of precipitation. Bath times for us are a long affair; making tea, playing car wash, racing toys up and down and generally having a smashing (or should that be splashing?) time. So when I was contacted by White Step to review a new set of flexible bath toys made by the uber cool and environmentally conscious Danish company A Real Cool World, I couldn't wait to see what DD thought of them.

Who needs water?
As soon as I unwrap the Flexibath™ toys parcel and open the box, the brightly coloured tea set - a flexible jug, two small pots and sieve with a lid - disappear from my hands and play commences. Who needs water? DD is clearly smitten and with an extra fifteen minutes to make and actually drink a mug of tea (while it's HOT people) frankly so am I.

At bath time I stick the clear plastic table to the side of the bath with the two large suckers and a I-don't-want-to tantrum became a ooo-new-toys grin. Soon the cafe opens and it's new proprietor offers to pour me a cup of pre-strained orange juice that looked remarkably like bath water. Bath water that has just been pee-ed in.  I'll pass thanks.

When I finally manage to prise DD out of the bath half an hour later the table pops off the side of the bath fairly easily (there are little tabs to help you break the suction) so that I can leave the whole set to drain. It's only at that point that I realise she hasn't played with any of the other toys strewn around the bath tonite. New toy joy? Perhaps, but I think these ones have longevity.

Check out the funky tune!

In summary, DD loves her new Flexibath™ Toys. One set consists of; 2 CUPs, 1 JUG, 1 FUNNEL, 1 LID and 1 TABLE and costs £13.95 from White Step. The Toys are made from soft PP and TPE plastic and comply with all relevant international standards. Both types of materials are free from PVC, Phthalates, BPA, heavy metals and other harmful and hazardous materials. The Flexibath™ Toys are safe, clean and environmentally responsible and for easy cleaning you can pop them in the dishwasher (max 60 centigrade). I'd thoroughly recommend them. And more importantly, so would DD. Just don't try to take them off her. They'd be trouble. 

Fancy trying a set of Flexibath™ Toys with your little ones? Readers of Bod for tea can receive a 15% discount from any products on the White Step website. Just enter the code - BOD15 - at the checkout to receive your discount.

Disclaimer: We were sent one set of Flexibath™ Toys to review. We received no other compensation to write this post and all views are my own. For more information, read my .

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Just letters on a page

The house is still and almost silent. OH is asleep on the sofa. DD is asleep in her cot. The washing machine has just finished it's cycle and the only noises are the tick tick of the large round wooden clock on the kitchen wall behind me, the sound of cars driving too fast along the road outside the house and the omnipresent hummmm of the fridge and freezer. It's so unusual for the house to be this still at the weekend that I don't want to sully the tranquillity with technology. Instead I reach for pen and paper. The scratch of the roller ball on the page is mesmerising, stupefying even. I let my mind wander and my hand flow across words that float like clouds in a gentle summer sky. I can forget that I was the butt of a mild Twitter rant yesterday, that I'm still seven pounds heavier than I'd like to be, that I haven't booked my place at Brit Mums yet because I'm afraid to lose my anonymity, that I finished DD's leftovers again at lunchtime and that I've got an hour of seriously hard exercise ahead of me this afternoon. I can spill the words out onto the page and let them puddle there, not splashing in them with emotional wellies but just watching as a breeze catches the edge, sending ripples circling outwards. Later they will become real again. Words will crystallise into deeds, tasks, feelings. But for now they're just letters on a page.

Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

This week I have a couple of fab reasons to be cheerful, so good in fact that I can't contain them any longer and I've just got to let them out ----

1. I won! The lovely Mich over at and host of the Reasons to be Cheerful linky very kindly offered everyone who took part over the last few weeks the chance to be entered into a prize draw for some amazing prizes - and I won one of them! A £50 experience day! Woo hoo! Huge thanks to Mich x

2. Potty galore. Chez Bod is now hosting potty training for beginners! Or, in other words, we've started the journey away from nappies. I'm really excited as DD has already mastered the art of #1 and even one #2 (sorry TMI). Proud Mum over here. Oh yes.

3. Disney. I know, I've mentioned this for the last two weeks, but c'mon it's our first trip to Disneyworld and I'm entitled to be excited! This week's update - our tickets have arrived and we've booked lunch at The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom for lunch with Winnie The Pooh, DD's favourite Disney character. In the meantime, the less said about the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, the better. I'm convinced DD will march right up to any poor cast member in a Beast costume and tell him off for being mean to Belle and for shouting so much. The camera will be poised.

4. New reviews. I've been contacted by some lovely PRs this week representing some equally lovely companies that I'm excited to start working with. Watch this space for some reviews coming soon.

Do you have reasons to be cheerful this week? Link 'em up over at and share the joy.

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Newbie no more?

When do you stop being a newbie?

I've been reflecting on the fact that Bod for tea had it's first birthday at the end of December. It's no longer a young upstart or a nubile newbie. I know this because it's no longer eligible for newbie blogger linkys. It was also the consensus of opinion on Twitter today when I asked the question (ok it was a consensus of two but that still counts.) It's a bit sad, like when you turn eighteen and everyone says you're all grown up but you still feel like a little girl inside. Ok, so I know how this little corner of cyberspace fits now, I like it's shape and style, it washes and irons well (ok I stretched the metaphor there) but I don't feel that I've suddenly become all-knowing, all-seeing, all-blogging. When you're no longer a newbie it's easy to feel like the support pants have been pulled down and you're out there all exposed and flabby. So here's my own personal pep talk to get me pulling those big knickers back up and start being my own cheerleader again. Feel free to use it if you need a bit of a lift yourself.

1. Remember why you started to blog in the first place. A creative outlet? A place to moan? A record of your family life? Whatever the reason (and it can be all of the above), it's still there for you. Rediscover the joy in just pottering on your own blog for your own reasons. Don't feel pressured to join in with this or that linky if you'd rather just tap away but if you enjoy them - do it! It's your space. Make it your own.

2. Create a new support network. As a newbie there are lots of lovely bloggers who helped you find your feet and get those first few posts under your belt. (And here I must thank Mich over at Mummy from the Heart for being so supportive to me when I first started putting finger to keyboard.) Weren't there other newbies that started at the same time as you? Yes. Don't you have favourite blogs that you read? Yes. Ok then. Use the social media world for what it does best and get in touch. Chances are they'll love to chew the fat with you and give you a virtual hug.

3. Take a break. I know this goes against my first tip but after twelve months of blogging the best thing you did was take a break for a few weeks. It gave you a sense of perspective. It stopped you thinking about stats and readers and telling yourself off for not posting enough. You just lived your life and enjoyed what it threw at you. Sometimes you threw stuff back. (There was a jolly game of catch for a while.) Now you're back at the computer feeling refreshed and renewed, reclaiming your space as your own. It was becoming a number on your to do list. Make it the bit of fun in your day.

4. Meet people. Real people. And by this I mean meet some bloggers. In the flesh. What better way to build your support network and gain some confidence? They're not monsters after all. (At least I don't think they are.) Get yourself a ticket to BritMums before 29 Feb at the introductory price and start putting some faces to the words you read on the screen. Do it!

Phew! That feels better, nothing like a good talking to. In the end, a bit like life itself, I think you never really stop being a 'newbie' blogger. You make mistakes, you learn from them. But perhaps you just start taking your growing-up in your stride, pull up your big pants and enjoy the ride.

Here's to the next twelve months.

Image: Rawich / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monday, 23 January 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

Grrrr... my Reasons to be Cheerful posts are getting later and later. I'm not even in the right week this time! Not because I don't have lovely reasons to actually be cheerful, thankfully I do and this lovely linky reminds me to remember them, but because my offline life (yep, that's my real life) just keeps stepping in front of my online life (you know, this one *points to screen*) and getting in the way. I know, I complained about this last week too, and this is supposed to be a cheerful post about cheerfulness, so I won't go on about it here, but suffice to say, grrrrrrr. There, that feels better, onto this week's (or rather last week's) reasons:

1. Disney. Did I mention we're off to Disney in two weeks time? Well the update for this week is that I've started to introduce DD to some of the characters so that she's not all 'so what?' when we get there. This week it was Mickey, Pluto and Beauty & The Beast. I hadn't realised how confusing and somewhat violent the latter is. DD is now imagining the Beast all over the place. Not really going as planned. *Remembers need to be cheerful* Did I mention we're off to Disney in two weeks time...?

2. Tea set. Now THIS one I can be cheerful about. This week I used my new 1950s Royal Grafton Majestic tea set for the first time. It was a birthday present from my family and I am seriously in love with it. Now I'm all 'would you like some tea? Shall I pour? One lump or two? Would you like milk?' Yes, I have aged overnight, but I don't care.

3. Commit to get fit - week 2. My knees are creaking, my ankles are sore and I now spend my lovely one hour of me time trying to do tricep dips off the coffee table. But I squeezed back into my small jeans with less grunting and groaning this week and that's something to be cheerful about. Bodyrock.tv is seriously hard but it's starting to work.

Do you have Reasons to be Cheerful this week? Link 'em up over at the lovely Mich's place

Image credit: www.scootarama.com

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

White t-shirts, split thumbs and Bear Grylls

D'you know what I'm wondering? Where did Meg Ryan (or rather her stylist) get the white t-shirt that she's wearing in 'You've Got Mail' in that scene in the book store the first time she meets Tom Hanks?

There are some wardrobe staples that should be easy to find, like a good white t-shirt, jeans, boots, a decent bra for goodness sake, but they are precisely the ones that would leave Sherlock Holmes baffled. But this one *points to the screen* is the perfect white t-shirt. It lies completely flat at just the right point between her neck and her décolletage (or her boobs if you'd rather, and I'm sure you would, who wouldn't after all, ok I'll stop digging this hole now), it has a nice wide-but-not-too-wide brand around the neck and it's glacier white. My best white t-shirt hangs rather limply, is sits too high up my neck and is a decidedly depressing shade of almost grey.

Do stylists have access to some fantasy clothing range? A clothes heaven where all the truly perfect clothes angels live? While the less honourable to down right criminal outfits languish amongst the rest of us mortals somewhere between the high street and the second hand shop. Not that you can't find some gorgeous vintage fare at Oxfam and the like, but I often wonder if they're paid to be there, you know, like a PR stunt. 'Stand here, let me get a photo of you in the window, and then you can go back to Clothes Heaven.'

Anyhow, that's what I was wondering when I should have been writing about this *points to hand*. I've got a cut on the top of my thumb. It's on my right hand. My writing hand. The cut is just deep enough to make it horribly painful to write. Now, I call it a cut, but actually it's a crack. A split. My skin just opened up and forgot to heal. It's been like this for a week now and it's getting boring. Not to mention inconvenient. And sore. Did I mention it's sore? I think it's probably caused by having my hands in water all day, up a little one's bottom, in the freezing cold and basically not letting them dry for any length of time. It's a wonder I don't have trench foot....err thumb.

I've tried everything to get it to heal - Savlon, plasters, dry skin cream, even New Skin. (Don't know about Germaline New Skin? It's like torture in a bottle. It creates an layer over a cut to let it heal and it stings like crazy. But it works, usually.) If anything the crevice is getting deeper. If it keeps going at this rate I may fall into it and disappear into my own thumb. And that would be embarrassing.

So if anyone has any miracle cures for split thumbs that won't heal please get in touch. Or, failing that, send Bear Grylls in to rescue me.

Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful

Yep, I shouldn've posted this on Thursday when the lovely Mich's goes up but somehow life has been getting in the way a bit lately. Shouldn't complain, we've been busy getting back into the daily routine after Christmas and I keep hitting the snooze button in the morning and then having a panic to get out the door but hey, that's January for you. Here's the reasons I was cheerful this week:

1. Happy Birthday to me! It was my birthday on Friday. The countdown clock to the big 40 has now begun. I had some lovely gifts and surprises throughout the day and messages from friends all around the world. Made me feel quite the special one. *Snif*

2. Commit to get fit. My New Year resolution to get fit again after 2 years of not much at all since DD was born is coming along nicely. The scales are stubbornly not budging but I'm feeling better about myself and noticing the difference in other ways. Learning to run again is a killer but bodyrock.tv takes it to a whole other level. Seriously.

3. Disney here we come! Following 's fab adventures in Florida we've booked to go too! WOOT! *Gets rather over excited and has to sit down*

Anyhoo those were my reasons for this week. If you had your own you probably already whacked them down over at , but if not go and do it now. You know you want to.

Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Fussy Eaters Support Club - Jan 2012

And so another year starts in toddlerland. How are you getting on with your little fussy eaters? 

DD has definitely upped her calories recently, I'm assuming a growth spurt, but it's the same 'ol grub. The most adventurous she gets is . We did have an apple eating episode over the Christmas break and yesterday she sucked on a Clementine, but frankly anything new that doesn't look like a square, a bread stick or a Hoola Hoop isn't going to get a look in at the moment.

And you know what? I'm cool with it. She's healthy. She's happy. She eats when she wants to. Whenever I make a fuss she eats even less. So I'm coming over all Zen and going with the flow for a while.

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 JANUARY are now open!

Image: dream designs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Never say never again

When I was a slip of a gal I lived in Neverland. I would swear to myself that I would 'never' do this or that thing that either my parents or any other OLD person would do. No different from any other teenager I s'pose. Except that I forgot to leave. Like tinkerbell (or the croc perhaps) I stayed in Neverland until DD was born. Full of myself, in every sense of the word - I made Jabba the Hut look like a Weight Watchers success story - I made obscene promises about how we would raise her.

#1: We will never let her watch television while she eats
#2: We will never bribe her with sweets or lollipops
#3: We will answer her questions thoughtfully and patiently; asking 'why' is a sign of an enquiring mind
#4: We will only give her home-made organic food, never pre-packaged
...etc, etc.

As I made these rash promises from up there on my high horse, I looked down on my own Mother and watched her nodding sagely.

'She agrees with me', I thought.
'She's delusional', she thought.

If our progress on these promises to date was a school report, I'd have a big, fat, red FAIL plastered over my forehead. We've broken every one of them. That is except #2. That is until this week.

DD has always had a thing about that well known monster; the British supermarket trolly. Clearly the ones over here in England eats children as she screams her head off whenever I try to put her in one. In China our local supermarket didn't have a baby seat, but instead attached a car to the front of the trolly for her to sit in. Genius. Until we came home and there wasn't one. *Sigh*

When we first returned home our supermarket trips re-enacted the trolly-dash of the 70s. DD running around like a wild-thing, over-excited, trying to take everything off the shelves. Me running after her trying not to lose her or my patience while randomly throwing a few items into my basket in the hope we arrived home with enough to create a meal. Eventually I gave up and joined the ranks of internet shoppers for our main groceries, reserving supermarket trips for the odd one or two items that I could grab successfully on my sprint through the aisles.

Then came the realisation (also known as a stiff talking to from Tall Sis) that fighting DD's excitement was the wrong approach. Had I tried embracing it and making shopping a fun, educational trip out? Errrr... nope. I was trying to buy food. But clearly it was an excellent idea so with a little planning I drew three items we didn't really need but I knew DD would recognise on a scrap of paper and off we set to the closest supermarket. When we arrived I showed her the drawings and after she'd stopped laughing (it's embarressing to be laughed at by a two year old) I explained that we needed to buy these three things and I needed her help. Her chest puffed out with importance. Perhaps this will actually work, I thought. And you know what? It did. She wasn't 'Annie' or anything but she did walk around the store, holding my hand and we bought the things we needed. She even helped me to scan them in the DIY check-out aisle (queuing with a toddler? Heck no) and we both 'BEEP!'ed with the machine. It was actually fun.

But did it stop me offering DD a lollipop if she would just sit in the trolly for the time it took us to buy the things we needed at the big supermarket last week when time was of the essence? No, it did not. I am not James Bond, but I will never say never again.

Image credit: Wikipedia; Map of Neverland created by Walt Disney Productions as a promotion for its 1953 film Peter Pan.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday
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