Saturday, 28 September 2013

Quotes of the week

I love quotes, especially the quips that make me smile wryly and nod in agreement or just have a good chuckle. So in a more or less (sometimes a lot less actually) weekly spot, here's some I've discovered this week...

"I took more hell for being fat than I did for being an absolutely raging drug addict, I will never understand that."
- Kelly Osbourne

"All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them."
- Emma Bombeck

"We would worry less about what others think of us if we realised how seldom they do."
- Ethel Barrett

"Some women choose to follow a man and some others their dreams. In case that you wonder which way to follow, remember that your career won't wake up one morning to say that he doesn't love you."
- Lady Gaga

"Do not join encounter groups. If you enjoy being made to feel inadequate, call your mother."
- Liz Smith

Friday, 20 September 2013

Giveaway - design your own awesome Personal Planner

I'm in what I think is technically known as a quandary. You see a little while ago I wrote about my that I felt sure was going to revolutionise our home and make us super-organised in preparation for Curly Girl starting school. And indeed it did. Well, perhaps revolutionise is a bit of a strong word, but I did manage to get OH to start writing in his column and I dutifully wrote down all the menu items for Curly Girl's school meals in her column so that I could tell her each morning exactly what she would be refusing to eat that day.

Then something happened. I received a package in the post. I knew it was coming because I'd had a hand in designing it. But it still surprised me when I opened up the lime green box (nice packaging!) to find this lovely looking thing nestled inside.

Yep, it's another planner. Why oh why do you need yet another planner I hear you cry?! Well aside from the fact that it is new (shiny, shiny new!!) there are some other rather wonderful things about this planner. Firstly it is designed by me *points at self*. See that picture on the front? I made that and added the grey elastic to tone with the design.. See those inside pages? I designed those. I chose the exact combination of schedule and ruled lines. See those little boxes at the bottom with a to do list and a preschool list? (Ok you may have to squint a bit.) I designed those. See all these extra lined and squared pages at the back and this summary of the year? I added those. This is MY planner. My personal planner. And rather helpfully for those of us that struggle to remember where things are from, it's from The clue's in the name, see?

But there's even more coolness within these A5 pages. When I was using the easy widgety thing on the Personal Planner website (see below) to design my planner, there was a section to add in any dates I wanted added to the planner - birthdays, anniversaries or other important events that I'd usually forget until the last minute. And because I'm registered with them they'll remember those dates and I can print them again in next year's planner if I want to. No more scrabbling around for birthdays and scribbling them into my new diary, they're all pristinely printed at the top of the page! Woo hoo! *Dances around kitchen*

Clearly whoever thought up Personal Planner is a genius. Here's Anders from Personal Planner explaining how the company came about... you can read the rest on their website.
A few years ago, in 2006, my wife Paula needed a new planner to keep track of her studies, but after many a trip to the shops she came home whining...
"There's only boring planners out there!"
In that moment an idea was born, the idea that was to become the Personalised Planner.
Having worked in the graphic design industry for 10 years and amused myself developing my own inventions in my spare time, the challenge was too great to resist.
A week later it was ready, a surprise for my wife which went down a storm! A square planner with her name on the cover, a whole year with a colourful 2-page spread for each week, and other clever little extras that you can't find anywhere else. It was a complete success, and at university it attracted many jealous glances. "There's definitely a market here" , I thought and registered a company to sell planners in my spare time, all with stone age methods of course! We started giving out a simple flyer to people we met, and literally for every handed out flyer, we got an order. I had my day job during the week, and in the weekend I got permission to use the office to make the planners by hand. And so it was that armed with a colour printer and a manual stencil-and-cutting machine, it all started off...

And the rest, as they say, is history. Seriously though it's a lovely story and in my opinion a really cleverly designed planner. So I will be using two planners from now on - one to keep my family organised and one that's just for little 'ol me.

Fancy your own personalised planner? The lovely peeps at Personal Planner will give one lucky winner a gift card so that they can design their very own planner. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is enter my giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer, terms and conditions and the all-important small print: 
I was sent a personalised planner to review and offered one to give away. I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own. This giveaway is open to UK residents aged 18 or over, one entry per household. There is no cash alternative. The winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter. The winner will have 48 hours to claim the prize or another winner will be chosen, again at random using Rafflecopter. You DO NOT have to subscribe to Bod for tea or like my or follow me on or as part of your entry.

Win competitions at

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Quotes of the week

I love quotes, especially the quips that make me smile wryly and nod in agreement. So in a more or less (sometimes a lot less actually) weekly spot, here's some I've discovered this week...

"Those who have mastered etiquette, who are entirely, impeccably right, would seem to arrive at a point of exquisite dullness."
- Dorothy Parker

"The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he's a baby."
- Natalie Wood

"I believe in loyalty. When a woman reaches a certain age she likes, she should stick with it."

- Eva Gabor

"A woman is like a t-bag - you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

"If the shoe fits, it's too expensive."

- Adrienne Gusoff

"Marrying a man is like buying something you've been admiring for a long time in a shop window. You may love it when you get it home, but it doesn't always go with everything else in the house."

- Jean Kerr

What's your favourite quote?

Saturday, 14 September 2013

I am a shouty mum

This week we had our first parents evening at Curly Girl's school. She's only been there just over a week but we were invited in along with all the other Reception year parents to find out about the curriculum that our children will be learning from, how they are expected to behave and how we are expected to support their learning and growth at home. Great, no problem with that, OH and I want to be as involved as possible with Curly Girl's journey into learning and become a part of her school life. I expected this and I felt sure we could be model parents. What I didn't expect was to want to sink through the floor after the first couple of slides.

I was happily nodding along as the headteacher explained the seven golden rules that the children must abide by - how they should behave towards each other and everyone else at school - when she mentioned the behaviour of the teachers. "We never shout at the children," she said "We respect their difficulties and talk to them calmly and quietly and try to reason with them."


The pit of my stomach ached, my eyes misted and the realisation dawned on me that I am absolutely and categorically a SHOUTY mum.

I try hard to be patient, I make up games to help get Curly Girl through the things she struggles with like getting dressed and eating her meals. I count to ten. I leave the room and shake my fists. I try, really I do.. But when these things don't work I shout. I'm not proud of it, in fact I'm mortified just writing this down, but I feel that I need to admit to it. Every time I shout I promise myself I won't do it again. But I have such a quick temper. So I do it again. And again.

Yesterday morning we were running late again and Curly Girl was struggling to put her vest on and getting tied up in knots while Little Man flatly refused to drink his milk. I shouted in my own frustration and she shouted back in hers. We glared at each other like a pair of feral cats. Some role model eh? When we'd both calmed down I encouraged her to have a go at doing up a button and when she managed to do it all by herself I cheered and hugged her. She was so happy but when she pulled away she asked me "but why did you shout Mummy?" Good question.

I'm ashamed of my behaviour. If I can't behave appropriately with my four year old how on earth can I expect her to do the same? With the mixed messages she is receiving at school and at home I'm sure she must be completely confused. I HAVE to stop shouting and learn to be more patient and understanding. Nothing is so important that it's worth losing my temper. I know these things.

I want to stop shouting.

I will stop shouting.

How do I stop shouting?

Image courtesy of adamr /

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Why change the UK's best selling nappy rash cream?

There are some products that I stock up on because they're part of special offer (who doesn't love a BOGOF?) and some just to make sure I always have plenty in stock. Huggies Nappies and baby wipes, the Uniq One hair saviour, Garnier tinted moisturiser, Munch Bunch yoghurt drinks for Curly Girl and, undoubtedly like thousands of Mothers before me, Sudocrem.

I've literally got a pot of this white gold in every room of the house including an industrial size one in the nursery and even a travel size pot in my make-up bag. It's our go-to cream for everything from nappy rash (baby) to minor burns (me), spots (OH) and razor burns (me and OH). I can honestly say that there isn't a day that goes by without a smear of Sudocrem appearing on some family member.

And I'm not alone - Sudocrem is the number one selling nappy rash cream in the UK and its formula hasn't changed for 80 years.... until now.

'WHAT?' I hear you cry. 'They're messing with this tried and tested family favourite?'

Yep, they are. Sort of. They've actually created a new product called Sudocrem Care & Protect specifically to prevent and treat nappy rash and we've been trying it out. Well, I say we - the Little Man's bonny bottom to be more exact. And a lovely bottom it is too!

*Deletes picture of Little Man's bottom just in case he sees this post when he's eighteen*

Compared to the thick, white emollient cream that typifies the original formula, and tends to sit on top of the skin for a good while in my experience, Care & Protect is much thinner and absorbs straight into Little Man's skin creating a barrier against the nappy-rash inducing chemicals in his wee and poo. (What, you thought I'd get through a nappy rash cream review without mentioning them?) It's hypo-allergenic and contains vitamin E, pro-vitamin B5 and grape seed to seal in the skin's natural moisture and help protect and condition the skin but has no artificial colours or preservatives.

Care & Protect smells the same as the original to me, which is reassuring, but other than that it is completely different. Little Man has been lucky enough not to suffer too badly from nappy rash *reaches out to touch wooden door frame just in case* but even so I'm really noticing a difference in his skin in the morning after a night's nappy-full. There's a sort of 'filmy' feel to his bottom, not sticky or gloopy, just soft and protected. We likely. A lot.

In fact I've been using it almost exclusively since we received our little sample tube and I've almost run out. Which is annoying. Why? Because I still have at least 5 pots of the original version on the go so I can't justify buying any more of the new one just yet. *Sigh* At least I can reassure myself that there are likely to be plenty of minor burns, spots and razor burns in this house to use it all up. If you haven't been stock-piling like me you can buy Sudocrem Care & Protect from all good supermarkets, Boots and Superdrug and it costs around £5.99 for a 50g tube.

But come 'ere *beckons you forward in a bad Irish accent* there's more. To celebrate the launch of Care & Protect, Sudocrem have launched a competition on Facebook to name their new mascot; a cute little kangaroo. The two favourite entries will win a holiday worth £1000 and each vote for their favourite of the two final names will be entered into a prize draw to win an annual Family Merlin pass. Nice! To submit your suggested name go to before 22 September 2013.

Disclaimer: We were sent a sample tube of Sudocrem Care & Protect to trial. We received no other compensation and all opinions are our own.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Germs are good!

Last week the Daily Mail ran an article about some research carried out by Domestos and Unicef that has shown that children's toys generally carry more germs that your average toilet seat. 

This article really concerns me. Not because I'm about to run off and scrub the playroom and eveything inside it within an inch of it's life, but because other people might read it and do exactly that. 

In the UK the sorts of bacteria that can cause life threatening diseases are highly unlikely to be found in the average home. If they were then our children would be vaccinated against them. Children need exposure to germs to build up their immune systems so that they have in-built protection as they grow. If we put our kids in a sanitary bubble we're only storing up problems for their future.

Also the cynic in me recognises that this research was carried out in conjunction with a major manufacturer of cleaning products - it's surely in their interests for us all to start wondering if we need to add antibacterial wipes to our shopping baskets, non? Clearly other readers felt the same way as the comments below the article were very negative towards Domestos.

But what the article fails to point out is why Unicef and Domestos are working together at all. Domestos is contributing 5% of it's average proceeds from the sale of specially marked bottles of Domestos to help improve sanitation in India and other countries with open defection communities by supporting UNICEF’s Community Approaches to Total Sanitation (CATS) programme. In a world where there are still an estimated 2.5 billion people who do not have access to improved sanitation - that’s nearly two fifths of the global population - surely this is actually a good thing? 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Silent Sunday

Friday, 6 September 2013

And the Bing: Get Dressed giveaway winner is...

Wow! Over a hundred entries to my recent giveaway!
Unfortunatley there can only be one winner and that is *drumroll*

Karen B


Watch this space for more giveaways coming soon. 
In the meantime why not take a look at some of my recent ?

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

First day at school

I stand back and take one long look;
She stands resplendent, all maroon and gold.
One sock has already started its slow, inevitable journey downwards.
She's unsure, unsteady, excited.
She's ready to go.
I blink once and see a baby gazing up at me.
I blink again and she is waiting for me by the door, rucksack on.
I dare not close my eyes again.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Silent Sunday

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