Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Frocking about in a wedding dress

On the morning of my wedding I woke with excitement in my tummy. I looked out of the window of my hotel room across Sydney harbour and smiled. It was going to be a beautiful day. I had breakfast with my sister. My hair was professionally styled. My make up applied for me. Despite a small hint of morning sickness I scrubbed up ok. As I walked down the street people smiled and called out to me.

“Congratulations! You look beautiful!”

I must say, I rather enjoyed the attention.

This morning, in a last ditch attempt to raise some Frocktober funds, I put my wedding dress on again. I found my veil, and tiara and slipped my feet in to white satin shoes.

My girls were fairly unimpressed. My husband was bemused.

I got some funny looks as I pushed the double buggy through the shopping center. Some people smiled. Some just gapped. I acted like it was the most normal thing in the world. The ladies at Bakers Delight were so impressed they gave me a free bun.

Frocktober has been a wonderful experience. It forced me out of my mummy uniform and into a pretty dress… 31 of them to be precise… a different one for every day of the month (some were my own, some borrowed from friends). I started to experience myself differently… I rediscovered my femininity.

Will I wear my mummy uniform again? Of course I will… but perhaps not as religiously as I did before…

Will I wear dresses more often? Damn frocking right I will!

 If you would like to make a donation to the Ovarian Cancer Research Ffoundation you can do so right here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A year of tea love (and a giveaway!)

On the 30th October, 2011 a very tired woman started writing the story of her life. Not… her life story. That would have taken considerably longer, and she only had half an hour. The story of her life… at that moment in time. A snap shot.

She wrote of relentless mothering. She wrote of crawling around the house pretending to be a train. She wrote of her heart's desire… to visit the toilet… by herself...

She had no idea where those words would take her. But followed the urge to get her feelings on to 'paper'. The tap tap tap tap of the keyboard soothed her weary shoulders. She laughed at her own jokes. She thought she was ever so funny.

Tap tap tap.

Beep.

Her husband was at the park with their children.

'What are you up to?' He asked (through the medium of text message).

She was supposed to be sleeping. But the words wouldn’t wait.

‘I’ve started a blog!’ She wrote back. Smiling to herself.

‘Cool! What are you calling it’? He responded.

What a good question! She considered the blue and white spotty mug on the table beside her and quick as a flash replied;

‘Cup of tea and a blog’

The mug of destiny

She smiled again. It was perfect. Whenever she had a quiet moment she would sit down with a cuppa and read her favourite blogs. And she really did drink an alarming amount of tea.

She smiled as she explained to her husband…

‘I love to sit down with a cup of tea and a blog…’

Then added….

‘But I’d rather have a large gin and a shag...’

And so ‘Cup of Tea and a Blog’ was born.

A year ago today. 

Giveaway!

To celebrate an entire year of blogging I am giving away two A3 prints of this stunning Manifesto for Tea Lovers, a collaboration between myself and The Smile Collective. 


The Smile Collective posts a new manifesto every week (with a free download) at The Smile Collective blog. I would also recommend a visit to the Smile Collective Shop, perfect for those hard to buy for people this Christmas!

To enter: 

1. Please use the comment section below to answer the following question:


"What type of tea* best describes your personality and why?"

2. Please include an email address with your answer.


3. Please 'like' the Cup of Tea and a Blog Facebook page.


Terms & Conditions:
1. This give-away is open to all readers, world wide! Yay!
2. Giveaway closes 5pm AEDST, Friday 9th November2012
3. Winners will be chosen based on creativity and originality
4. Winners will be announced on the Cup of Tea and a Blog Facebook page 9am AEDST, Saturday 10th November 2012 and via email. 
5. Judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
6. Winner must make contact within 3 days of being contacted, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.
7. Prizes are not transferable, changeable or redeemable for cash.
8. Prizes will not be replaced in the event that they are stolen, lost or damaged in transit.

Disclosure: 
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed are my own. Especially the ones about gin.   

*Or Coffee. We don't discriminate.  

Aussie Giveaway Linky
Hosted by Three Lil Princesses

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Oh that poor man..."

We were out of milk. Which was particularly annoying as I was in the process of making myself a cup of tea.

“I’ll just pop out and get some more” I told my husband.

“I’ll only be five minutes, I’ll leave the girls with you”

But it’s never as simple as that. The moment I picked up my car keys G started hopping up and down. It was just a necessary errand to me, but to G it was an opportunity for adventure.

I don’t get much one-on-one time with G. I get two days with little C while G is at day care, but aside from reading her a couple of (dozen) bedtime stories, G and I are rarely alone.

As we drove around to the shop G talked about the things she could see out of the window. I am constantly bowled over by her language skills… all of a sudden we can have actual conversations about things. She makes sense (most of the time).

We arrived at the shop, and I started to look for a parking spot. I saw an elderly gentleman on the corner, trying to cross the street. He hobbled out on the road, leaning heavily on his walking frame, slowly, slowly, cautiously, ambling along. A car drove by, and very nearly knocked him over. He looked frightened. He moved back to the pavement.

We pulled up nearby. I stopped the car and watched for a moment. Again he attempted to cross. Again he retreated as a car speed past.

Oh that poor man…”

I think it was my tone that G picked up on.

“Oh no! What’s wrong with the man, Mummy?” she asked, really concerned,

I wondered if I should go and help, but by the time I’d got G out the car he had made it safely across. This should have been the end of it.

“Oh the poor man!” exclaimed G, really loudly.

We got the milk. We drove home. We went inside. I had a cup of tea. 


G continued to talk about ‘the poor man’. She wanted to know what happened to him. She wanted to know if he was ok. She put her hands on her face with all the drama of a French mime artist and repeated the story to her father. Again and again.


I know that the world is full of sad, sad, stories, and that one day I will have to explain that to G. But, for now, I can still make everything better with a song. And so I sang her the story of the man who couldn’t cross the street, and how he drank some magic tea, and flew home instead. All to the tune of twinkle, twinkle little star. Because all the best impromptu songs are.

It has become her favourite. Naturally.




My week in pictures #7

This week both of my girls developed the urge to dress them selves... C chose a pretty dress and some bunny ears (as you do), G chose a pair of my husbands shorts and her little sisters tee-shirt...

This week I tool part in the I Heart My Body campaign over at weheartlife.com - you can read my post here (if you fancy, no pressure...)


Linking up with Tina Grey {dot} Me

Add caption

Friday, October 26, 2012

Just keep swimming


There were some things that my husband and I agreed on from day 1. Learning to swim was important. We were both early swimmers, my husband grew up in the tropics of North Queensland and Papua New Guinea and recalls running into the sea and snorkelling over the reef. I had a weekly dip in Loughton Swimming Pool. Not quite as idyllic, but it did have a slide.

We swam regularly with G and she started lessons at six months. The class focused on building confidence and having fun. G loved the water and over time really progressed (just to be clear, by progress I’m talking about things like closing her eyes when going under and not mastering the art of back stroke).

We kept up the swimming, week after week, in good weather and in bad. Sometimes it was a struggle to get there, and in the final few months of my second pregnancy I found it fairly tough; being in the water was great, getting in and out? ... Not so much.

Little C started lessons at six months, my husband worked from home one morning a week so that he could take G into her class and I took C into hers. Or vice versa, depending on G's mood.

When G turned two and a half earlier in the year she was able to graduate to the Tadpole class, which means that she goes into the water with the instructor. Initially I worried that she would miss me, or be scared, or just act up and be a pickle… but she made the transition with no issues at all.

Lately I’ve been taking the girls to their swimming lessons by myself. I rely heavily on my multi-tasking and negotiation skills to make it to the pool on time and get us all changed and into the water.

Too cool for swim school?
Once we’re all in the water we have a lovely time. Little C and I participate in all the activities (you know, singing nursery rhymes whilst strategically dunking the kids under water), and from the mums and bubs class I am able to look over and marvel at how well G is getting on.

C with the teacher, about to do the mat run
The half hour that follows swimming is the longest half hour of my entire week. Little C cries because she is cold whilst G runs around naked interrogating all the ladies in the changing room (“Hi. What are you doing? Why?... Why?... Why?...).

As I get C ready I call out instructions to G; ‘Please come here. Please take your swimmers off. Please get out of that locker…’ G wilfully ignores me,

I find it all rather stressful. I assume that the ladies in gym gear find me and the girls a bit annoying. Most of the mums change by the side of the pool, or in the tiny cubical provided by the swim school. But with two girls and myself to get showered and changed I need the space of the bigger changing room.

But something strange has started to happen. Over the last few weeks the ladies I see in the changing room have started to pitch in. 

When G runs off someone catches her.
  
‘Go and see your mummy’ they say. Or ‘It’s time to get dressed now’

It has become a team effort.

I have started to feel really well supported (and it’s not just because I wear my sports bra under my rashie). They say that it takes a village to raise a child, but in this case, it takes a changing room full of kind, considerate and… er… sweaty women to dress a child... and that's ok with me! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I heart my body

When I was 24 I had a close call with cerebral malaria. I spent some time in the hospital for tropical diseases, I shivered one moment, sweated the next. My eyes bulged in my head. My face turned yellow. I don’t want too sound overly dramatic, but it really could have been the end of me.

In the months that followed I suffered from depression. I gained weight and my hair fell out, huge chunks at a time. I was never bald, but the hair left on my head was sparse and lank. 

Life moves on. I recovered. It’s been ten years. The hair at the front of my head never fully grew back. Most people wouldn’t even notice, but now that I’ve drawn your attention to you it you’ll say ‘Oh yeah…’

I’m really self-conscious about my thin hair patches. The same way that I’m self-conscious about my fluctuating weight and my enormous bottom.

But you know what?

I love my body.

I choose to love my body.

And it is a choice. Sometimes I look in the mirror and see the stretch marks and deflated boobs… but then I remember how bloody amazing my body is. It grew my beautiful children and nurtured them in their early years. It keeps going, despite the chronic sleep deprivation. I can crawl around pretending to be a train (choo choo), dance around the house, run through the park and… er… and there is some other stuff that happens in the bedroom. 

I love my body for all these reasons… plus, my boobs kinda rock!



I have written this post for #iheartmybodyday be sure to check out the other amazing posts at weheartlife.com  


Related body image posts: 
Frock me
Getting naked. In public

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sexism. And shoes

My mother did a pretty good job of instilling her feminist beliefs into my childhood. There was much talk of ‘equal gender roles’, both my parents contributed to domestic chores and anything remotely sexist was heavily edited. My sister and I grew up knowing that if we worked hard we could be whatever we pleased.

When my mother read us Enid Blyton books she would change the names to ensure that the girls took equal share in the adventure and the boys took their turn to clean the dishes. The deception was so convincing that I went on to fail my ‘Sexism in Children’s literature’ essay after heavily defending Enid, and thus giving the impression I had no grasp of ‘sexism’ whatsoever.

But my mothers version always stuck with me, it is, in a nutshell, what equality between the sexes is all about; a fair slice of the action and taking turns to wash up.

I aspire to pass on the same message to my girls, but sometimes I feel like I am fighting an uphill battle. You only need to take a stroll through a toy shop to see the differences… the girls aisle is full of kitchen appliances, ironing boards, washing machines, dolls, fairies and princess outfits. The boys get trains, trucks diggers and can dress up as pirates.

As G has grown up I have tried not to influence her either way (although I will never buy her a toy ironing board… she wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway… she has never seen me iron), she has a mixture of toys, dolls and diggers in equal measure.

G is often labelled a ‘tom boy’. She is very energetic, always has scabby knees, she climbs, she runs, she picks up sticks. She is as boisterous as any of her male friends. When I can’t find sensible play clothes for G, I often look in the boy’s section, shorts are longer, shoes sturdier. G didn’t mind one bit, in fact when I told her she could chose any tee shirt she liked she picked one with a motorbike.

G is always running.
But something is happening to my little ‘tom boy’… all of a sudden she wants a handbag (which she fills with rocks) and ‘pretty’ dresses and most noticeably has developed a very strong opinion about shoes.

Having had a good look round the shoe department I decided a pair of boys brown sandals would do nicely. They were practical shoes, exactly the type of that would give G the support she needed to bomb about the park like an over excited puppy.

But G was having none of it. She threw herself on the floor in the biggest demonstration of protest I have seen in a long time. Hot tears ran down her little face. This was more than a tantrum, she was totally devastated.

“I. Don’t. Want. Brown. Ones” she sobbed, a word at a time.

I sat down with her, and tried to negotiate, taken aback by the ferocity of her reaction.

She wanted a pair of ‘pretty princess shoes’… flimsy, strappy sandals with a little heel.

I felt conflicted. I want G to make her own choices, but at the same time there are some things I feel really strongly about. It was more than a battle of shoes, it was what the shoes represented. How can the girls compete with the boys when they literally can’t keep up? ‘You can’t run in those shoes G!’

After a great deal of searching and some hardcore negotiations we selected a pair of shoes that G and I were both happy with. Enough support for the ‘tom boy’, enough glitter for the little girl.

I know this is just the beginning. 


Sunday, October 21, 2012

The hangover


“My head hurts!” G moaned, clutching her head dramatically.

It was Wednesday morning and I was busy getting ready for the girls swimming lessons. The girls followed me around as I frantically searched for our swimmers, goggles (G calls them ‘gobbles’) and towels.

G seemed fine. She was as chatty as ever… which lately, following a massive acceleration in her language skills is very chatty. She played with her toys, she tormented her little sister. Everything was normal.

But every now and then she would clutch her head. I started to worry.

‘Are you ok my love?’ I asked, stroking her hair.

‘No’ she wailed.

‘I need to lie down’

G doesn’t do ‘lying down’. She doesn’t stop. Even when she is walking she hops up and down, so full of energy that she can’t contain it.

Little C continued to run around the room, unconcerned by the plight of her big sister. She put a swimming nappy on her head like a beanie and gave herself a round of applause.

G climbed on to my bed and pulled the covers over her head. She let out a little sigh.

I wondered if I should ring the doctor. Swimming was definitely out the window.

All of a sudden, G leapt out of bed and ran to the bathroom, she leaned over the toilet, opened her mouth and….

“Uuuuuuuuuuuuuughhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”

She pretended to puke.

“I be sick in the toilet”, she announced before flouncing back to bed.

The penny dropped.

G was faking a hangover.

Last weekend I had the best night out I’ve had in years, there was wine, there was conversation, there was music, there was more wine, there was laughter (so much laughter!), and there was more wine. 

Reconstruction.
I wasn’t a pretty sight the next morning. I moaned, I complained, I went back to bed. I felt very sorry for myself indeed. I didn’t get much sympathy from my husband, who quite rightly reminded me that I should know better by now. 

I don’t get out much these days...and maybe that's just as well. 

My week in pictures #6


I can sum up our week in one word.... MESSY! 

How has your week been? Did you make a mess too? 

Linking up with Tina Grey {Dot} Me 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy birthday, Mrs Johno

It’s my sister’s birthday today. Well, yesterday really, but given she is living in a time zone 10 hours behind my own, it will still be her birthday when she reads this. Unless she is out celebrating. Or asleep.  Anyway, regardless of the date… my beautiful, wonderful sister Mrs Johno is another year older.

There are so many things I could tell you about her, the kind of person she is, the way she mothers her boys, the things she has achieved. The things she is passionate about. You would smile and agree that she sounds like an amazing woman. You would want to meet her and be her friend.

Sometimes, when I am homesick I imagine what it would be like to move my little family back to the UK. We could find a house around the corner from my sister. My girls could get to know their Auntie and Uncle and play with their cousins. I wonder if that day will ever come.  

The other side of the world. That’s all. Not the moon. Not Mars. Just the other side of the world.
                                      
I don’t want to tell you how much I miss my sister. I’ll start to cry, and ruin my make up, and worse still I might make her cry too, and who wants to cry on their birthday?

Instead, I’ll confess that in 2007 I sold her CD collection from under her nose. Well, not all of it… but Sam, if you ever wondered what happened to your Babyshambles CD… well…. Now you know. I sold it. I got 11 quid for it, which, together with the proceeds of my own music, clothes, furniture and handbags… I used to purchase a one-way ticket to Australia.

I’m sure my sister misses me more than she misses that CD (probably… although, it really was very good). But I like to think that her ‘donation’ helped me along the path that led to me to my family. 

Happy birthday Mrs Johno. I hope you have had an amazing day filled with tea and cake and well behaved children. I love you, very, very much. 


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

100


One hundred words for my one hundredth post?

Why not! I’ll raise my cuppa for a toast!

To celebrate each little step, what a journey it has been!

I started slow. One or two a month. I was keen..

But the time wasn’t right, for me, to blog,

I was sleep deprived! My brain was a fog!

I needed something to call my own.

A purpose, outside the home.

My little blog has grown and grown.

It is my labor of love. The seeds I’ve sewn!

Time marched on. My archive grew.

Now I’ve got one hundred!

Who knew?!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My week in pictures #5


It's been another busy week here at Cup of Tea HQ. We've been busy crafting, cooking and... er... fishing.... for balloons! G has started choosing her own clothes, and has made some interesting choices. I've been frocking up for a good cause and had one the best nights out in living memory. 

What have you been up to? 



Linking up with Tina Gray Dot Me for some Sunday blog hoppery 



Friday, October 12, 2012

The Girl with the Prawn Tattoo

At some point during the summer of 1993, I discovered ‘grunge’. It started with Pearl Jam. I lay on a beach in the South of France listening to whatever was popular at the time on my Walkman. Then my batteries ran out. My little sister, engrossed in a book handed me hers. I put the headphones on, I pressed play… and then I heard the opening bars of ‘Alive’ for the very first time.

In the South of France with my sister
Sam had discovered grunge through her school mates, a group of grubby hairy boys who played guitars and thought they were cool (to be fair, they were). During the course of our holiday I worked my way through her tape collection. The music spoke to me. It took my teenage angst and turned it into poetry.

I changed a little that summer. I swapped my sandals for Doc Martins (which I spent an entire morning rubbing against a brick wall, scuffing up, the worn out look was way more ‘grunge’ than the brand new look). I dyed my long hair purple. I started wearing tie-die hippy dresses and wrapped strings of love beads up my arm. I started smoking. I honestly thought it made me look cool.

I wanted a tattoo. But I was 15. And my mother forbade it. And despite many a  stroppy teenage tantrum she wouldn’t change her mind (which kind of makes sense now…).

Over the years my musical tastes evolved, as did my hair colour. But I always wanted the tattoo. There were a few times I got as far as the shop front. I looked at pictures. I accompanied several friends as they got theirs. Something held me back… maybe I was scared of the pain, or of making a mistake and living with the consequences.

At the grand old age of 29 I finally worked up the courage to get the tattoo that I’d always wanted. I chose to have a small butterfly on my foot, deciding that that it would be easy to cover if necessary, a subtle tribute to my purple-haired-Doc-Martin wearing days. It was also the last leg of my around the world trip and getting a tattoo seemed like the perfect souvenir to what had been the trip of a lifetime.

My travelling buddy Rob came with me to hold my hand and stop me chickening out. Sporting some seriously cool ink he proved quite the expert. I chose a design. The tattoo artist arranged a transfer of my little butterfly on my foot. 



“Is this ok?” he asked.

I considered the transfer for a moment. Clearly I needed to be sure about the position…

In that brief moment I decided to change the angel of the butterfly, so that I could see it better. So that when I looked down, I would see it the right way up…

What I didn’t realise was that whilst I got to see a butterfly, small and subtle just as I wanted… when other people see it, it doesn’t look anything like a butterfly….

It looks like a prawn…

I have a tattoo of a prawn. 



I must admit that I like prawns, especially when they are the main ingredient in a Thai Green Curry, or smothered with garlic and barbequed to perfection. But I don’t like them so much that I want to pay tribute to them for the rest of my life!

Thank god I didn’t get it filled in pink!

Do I regret getting it done? Nope! Not one bit. It was something I always wanted and five years later I still feel the same way.

Plus, as an added bonus… It makes me laugh!




Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A miscarriage


My period was a little late, I felt dreadful and I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that there was something different.

“I’m going to do a pregnancy test” I told my husband (then boyfriend).

I really didn’t think much of it. There were lots of other explanations. I’ll do the test, it will be negative and then I can forget about it.

But it wasn’t negative.

Fuck.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

My husband stood beside me. I didn’t need to tell him. We had witnessed the two lines emerging on the stick together.

Although we had discussed marriage and babies our relationship was still fairly new. We lived together. We’d met each others families. We were going in that general direction… it was just a little sooner than expected.

It was a shock. But as the shock wore off we started to get excited. We talked and talked and talked some more.

I didn’t know much about pregnancy. Only one of my close friends had a baby and she lived on the other side of the world. There were lots of surprises, like achy boobs and incessant weeing. I was constantly hungry, but couldn’t stomach food. I vomited. A lot.

My GP talked me through the scans and the paperwork. I made notes. During my lunch breaks I devoured the internet. I was scared. But I was happy. There was a time in my life that I didn’t want children. Babies made me nervous. But when I met my husband my feelings changed. I wanted to build a life with the wonderful man who made my heart sing.

I remember the moment I saw the blood with totally clarity. My stomach lurched, panic raced through my veins. At first it was light spotting, but by the following morning I knew for sure – something was very wrong.

My wonderful, kind, compassionate GP was unavailable. Her colleague was detached. She ignored my sobs as she handed me a referral 

“Yes, you’ve had a miscarriage, you’ll need a scan to determine whether or not you need a D&C”

I went straight to bed. My husband lay with me. We both cried. Eventually we got up. We sat on our balcony playing backgammon – the contrast of normality gave us a break from our grief.

I was only seven weeks, and had only known for one of them. But in that brief time I had become a mother.



In those early days we walked a lot, it hurt less while we moved. Distracted, busy. But whenever we stopped the pain would catch up with me. I knew the hard facts, I understood that miscarriage is common, the doctor informed me that as many as 1 in 3 pregnancies end in miscarriage. It didn’t stop me blaming myself. It didn’t stop me wondering if there was something wrong.

At first my friends were amazing. But, there is something about watching grief, or pain or misery. It’s uncomfortable. It’s better all round if you recover quickly, go back to your old self… Move on. Get over it. One friend said ‘It’s for the best’….

It was a dark time. My grief consumed me. I could think of nothing else. Talk of nothing else... but I quickly ran out of people who would listen. I didn’t know where to turn. I drank heavily. I stayed in bed. My head told me that I hadn’t really lost anything… just a ball of cells. My heart told me otherwise.

My husband and I dealt with our emotions differently. It was make or break… 

We had a weekend away. Leaving the experience behind us. We decided to let nature take its course… no more contraceptives, but not actively ‘trying’ either. We assumed it would take a while. I was pregnant again by the end of the month. 


I can’t imagine the enormous pain of a stillbirth, or of a miscarriage at 10 weeks, or 14… I know women who live with this grief. They say miscarriage is the last taboo, but I think it’s ridiculous to sweep something that affects so many under the carpet. Through speaking up and sharing stories we can support each other and let the healing begin.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Frock me!

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but sometime when I was pregnant with G I lost interest in my appearance. Maybe it was the massive weight gain and growing bump that forced me out of my clothes and into unflattering maternity gear. Maybe it was the horrendous morning sickness that had me dashing off to the ladies every half an hour. Rather than getting up to wash and blow dry my hair I pulled it into a ponytail and enjoyed an extra twenty minutes sleep. My make up bag was shoved in a draw. I felt awful, I wasn’t bothered that I looked awful too.

When G was born I was very overweight. I continued to wear my maternity clothes. I didn’t care. I was too tired to care, too busy with my new baby. If I was going somewhere special I’d pop a little mascara on. I bought a few new tops. My mummy-drobe consisted of practical clothing I could pull on in a hurry. Jeans, shorts, tee-shirts.

I wasn’t suffering from low self esteem. Or at least I didn’t think I was. I simply had other priorities. Sometimes I’d see a beautifully dressed and fully made up ‘yummy mummy’ and wonder where on earth she found the time.

Years passed. I lost weight. I got new clothes, but on the whole I chose comfort and sensible. Breastfeeding meant I needed easy access to my boobs. Baby wearing meant supportive shoes.  Sometimes I’d see myself in the mirror and look away. I told myself it didn’t matter how I looked.

When I finally cracked and joined Twitter earlier in the year I stumbled across fashion and style bloggers like Kimbalikes, Fox in Flats, Styling You & Redcliffe style. I clicked the links, I looked at the pictures. It felt voyeuristic and intimidating, I didn’t think I belonged there. I didn’t think it applied to me. I made jokey comments. I clicked away.

But blogging is a funny business. Click, click, click. A link here. A link there. Little seeds were sewn.

It started with the Fox in Flats Redlipstick dare. I wore my lippy and pouted for selfies, tagging my way in to the challenge. I kept looking at the photos, or catching myself in the mirror thinking "Hey! I scrub up ok!". Over the course of the dare I started making a little more effort. I put on a dress. I blow dried my hair. My children eyed me with suspicion. 


It was the beautiful Kimba who told me about Frocktober (which is a challenge to raise money and awareness for Ovarian Cancer). When I say ‘told me’ I mean ‘I read about it on her blog’. Wear a dress every day for a month? My first instinct was to make a joke. But the more I thought about it the more I wanted in.

I’m now nine days in…. and I LOVE it. 

Frocking up has given me a massive confidence boost. It’s inspired me to experiment a little, to dig out my make up bag, to file my nails and… er… shave my legs…

I’ve started looking a little more like my old self… (not that my old self ever wore a little black dress to do the weekly grocery shop… ) and I feel good! 

                            


If you would like to find out more about Frocktober or sponsor me please click here.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My week in pictures #4

It's been a frocking brilliant week. I've worn a different dress every day for a great cause, spent quality time with my family and proved yet again that I suck at baking... 

How was your week? 

Linking up with Tina Gray Dot Me for some good ol' blog hopping action!   

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Another Rainy Day Edition

Back by popular demand and a sudden change in the weather! Forced to spend the day indoors? Need keep your little ones entertained long enough to make yourself a cuppa? Well you’ve come to the right place! Once again I’ve put my thinking cap on and engaged my creative-a-tea to bring you a variety of fun indoor activities that will delight the little ones and keep you (relatively) sane.

1) Monkey Business (10-15 minutes)
For this game you will need some long balloons… you know, the ones that clowns use to make swan hats with… got it? Great! Blow up a balloon. Carefully attach it to your toddler’s bottom. There are a variety of methods available for attachment; masking tape, string… or, for a quick no fuss solution simply tuck one end into the back of their trousers. Your toddler is now a monkey (for those of you thinking that your toddler was already a monkey… you now have a monkey with a tail!). Make monkey noises. Do a monkey dance. Pretend to eat some monkey nuts…. The possibilities are endless…! 

2) Fly-swot Tennis (10 minutes – less if something breaks)
This is a firm favourite in our house. Take two or more fly swots (you can pick them up with your weekly shop for a mere 50c! Who knew?!) and a large balloon. Use the fly swots as tennis rackets to knock the balloon around the room. Whilst this is enormous fun I would strongly recommend removing any breakables from the room prior to commencing play. Fly-swot Golf works too.

3) Indoor Cubby House (5 – 10 minutes)
Inspired by lots of amazing images on Pinterest (it’s not a waste of time…. honestly… it’s research…) I created a fun indoor cubby house in our lounge room. Ok, when I say ‘indoor cubby’ what I mean is ‘dishevelled tent’; I lined up the girls high chairs and draped a large sheet over them… It was an instant hit with G who actually sat still for a whole five minutes. Little C enjoyed todderling in and out and played some quality 'peekaboo'. I had a nice cup of tea. 




4) Polystyrene snow (An eternity)
If you’ve had any flat pack furniture delivered recently you will also have a handy supply of polystyrene. The girls and I discovered that handfuls of said polystyrene makes great ‘snow’. Snow games include, but are not limited to; ‘making it snow’, ‘snow angles’ and ‘sticky snow’ (rolling it up into balls with sticky tape). The added bonus here is that large quantities of polystyrene is remarkably difficult to clean up; get the kids to help out and what you’ve got here is a game that goes on for hours… 
NB: DO NOT EAT ANY POLYSTYRENE! 

So there you have it. Four more rainy day games that will amuse the little folk and help you through the day with your marbles in tact*.

                                                                       ******
*Probably. Please note that the retention of your marbles very much depends on the level of sanity you start the day with. Cup of Tea and a Blog makes no guarantee. 

Did you miss the first Rainy Day Edition? click here to catch up!