Guess who’s back, back again…

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Well, hello there!

Right now, I don’t exactly know who I am speaking to as I would imagine there aren’t that many people still out there reading my blog right now seeing as I have been absolutely AWOL since January 2017. I can hardly believe that I haven’t blogged in almost nine months – I think that’s the longest I have gone without blogging since…well since I started back in 2005.

It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I want to come back to it – I had kind of fallen out of love with it and everything that it had become over the past several years. I used to love just blogging and writing, talking about utter crap but it all became too competitive, too stats-orientated and too much about social media followings. If blogging is just a side hobby and you have a full-time day job, a busy life as a parent and a hectic social life than all that other stuff is just too time-consuming. I felt like I no longer loved it and it had become nothing but a chore to me.

However, I am ready to go again. I don’t care if nobody reads it, I am doing it for me. I am going to get back to blogging about the things I love – food and cooking and gin and camping and travel and bingewatching TV shows on Netflix, because yeah, that’s mainly what I have been doing with my time during 2017, along with losing myself in fan fiction – both writing and reading. Honestly, how can I get to almost 40 years of age and only just discover fan fiction?! The community is AWESOME and I’ve found it so much more rewarding than blogging over the past few months.

Anyway, when I am not writing about the latest love triangle in my fan fiction world, I’ll be back to posting recipes that I love with terrible quality photos because I’m not a pro-blogger or a photographer, I am a busy working mum who just wants to share a few things that I’ve made and enjoyed. There’s never has been and never will be any stylised food shots on my blog because that’s not what I am about. I’m all about taking a quick shot on my iPhone before it’s hoovered up by my hungry family!

So yeah, that’s basically where I am in a nutshell and hopefully I’ll have a lot more time and enthusiasm for blogging over the coming months!

It’s good to be back!

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The Bad Parenting Olympics

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(The above picture has little to do with the actual post other than I reference Elsa and a goat, I thought it was apt.)

I know, I know, I’ve not been here very much at all, and the first thing I do is rock up with a big ass rant. I’m sorry for that (I’m not sorry really but it seems the right thing to say) however there’s something that has just been getting my goat recently and I need to do an Elsa and LET. IT GO.

Here goes…

Recently I have got to thinking that there seems to be some sort of oneupmanship (thats a word right?) of’ ‘bad parenting’ occurring. (By the way, that’s not ME calling anyone a bad parent…).

Facebook seems to be a constant trail of posts, groups and pages of people, generally woman, trying to out-do each other in the bad parenting stakes or quest to show the dark truths of parenting.  It seems very popular right now to put parenting down and WOE betide anyone who would like to break rank and post positively about parenting.

I’m part of several parenting groups on Facebook where people rant about others perfect little lives, with their perfect little children and joke about how behind the scenes everything is probably less than perfect, and that Cuthbert and Doris are probably screaming nightmares to deal with and mummy probably injects valium into her eyeballs while her husband is shagging his secretary somewhere.

Haters gonna hate of course but why is it terrible to post and share the positives about your life and parenting?

Now I am not saying that I am not guilty of this, I have of course been known to crack open the Pinot before the clock has even struck 5pm and yes, I use DANTDM as a babysitter from time to time, while I am more than likely busy catching up with friends lives via Instagram or messing about with Snapchat filters (rainbow barf FTW!) We all do it. But why, why, has it become the IN thing to make ‘funny’ remarks about how hard and shit parenting is all the time.

I generally try not to post about my children too much, and certainly not in a negative light. Imagine if they read it one day? But more to the point, for me, parenting really isn’t that hard or shit for 99.9% of the time. Maybe I am one of the lucky ones or maybe I am kidding myself as I have seen it suggested on other groups.  My children are well behaved, polite, interesting, funny and generally a joy to be around but now I feel like I can’t say that. I feel that I almost have to LIE!

As I sit here typing this rant, my 9 and 10 year old are sitting opposite me at the kitchen table, designing covers for their summer scrapbooks. I have a cup of tea and a piece of Red Velvet cake and I am immensely enjoying the school holidays. but I can’t say that in public, can I?

I have always sucked at sports and it seems I suck at this one too!

Clearly, I am totally alone in these feelings as these types of pages have tens of thousands of “likes” with mummies everywhere fawning over each and every new hilarious meme, and that’s okay, I don’t mind being the lone voice in the crowd.

Would love to hear others thoughts on this…

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Still here….anyone else out there?

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Is there anybody still out there?

To my absolute horror, I realised this week that it was nearly two months since I blogged – that is totally unheard of for me, I’ve been blogging on and off for years, and normally several times I week, however I’ve just totally lost my mojo recently. Of course, we can all agree that the middle of a heatwave is not exactly the ideal time to try and refind it but I  do need to get myself back into gear.

I have SO much to blog about so content is not the problem, it’s just been a basic lack of time and a distinct lack of energy at the end of a long working day – which is normally followed by an abundance of children’s activities, housework, personal admin etc. I used to have so much more spare time.  I miss my spare time. I miss watching TV!

That’s not to say I am not having any fun at the moment – we’ve been doing lots of fun stuff – it’s just that doesn’t leave a lot of time to sit in front of the computer, which I guess is the way it should be.  Life is for living.

“Work hard, play hard” pretty much sums up my life right now.

Truth is, recently I have also felt a little anxious about all sorts of stuff and my thoughts have been consumed by the bigger things like Brexit, terrorist attacks, the economy, the state of politics – all hugely important stuff but not stuff I want to start blogging about! It’s kind of felt like there were more important things out there to be worried about, which of course, there is.  Though I’ll be completely honest, and in recent days my attentions have switched to Pokemon GO and the #taylorswiftisover hashtag. (I never said I didn’t enjoy procrastination!).

I do need to regain my ‘release’ though, which is what blogging was/is for me.

If you’re still out there, reading, please do leave me a comment below, leave me a link to your latest blog post so I can go have a read, let me know what’s been going on with you so I can catch up. I’m so totally out of the loop!

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My accidental blogging hiatus…

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Is there anybody still out there?

You may, or may not have, noticed that I have been on somewhat of a hiatus recently. It wasn’t planned, I was just busy and lost my mojo. In fact, I have been losing my blogging mojo for quite some time now and during May, just got to the point where I would rather play pointless games on my iPad then fire up WordPress and write a blog post.  So I have decided a few changes need to be made.

I am no longer going to be running Meal Planning Monday. This was the hardest decision to make as I’ve been doing it for so long but it’s really become a bit of a chore to squeeze in over the past 6 months when I’ve been busy with other things. I used to have more time during the week but I now work 5 days a week and the pressure of keeping to a blogging schedule is just more than I want to take on so something has to give and I feel I’ve been letting people down. So, does anyone want to take over Meal Planning Monday?

Blogging is going to go back to being more about ME and what I want to post, without too many other commitments. I might still do reviews and sponsored posts from time to time but only when it is something I will get personal value out of or it’s worth my while.

I’m taking blogging back to the start. You know, word vomit about what’s going on around me or in my head. Pictures of nice things I see, covet, dream of. Recipes I’ve made and other cool stuff.

I’m not going to worry about being a crap blogger. I am shit at photography, I doubt my food photos inspire anyone to cook but it’s real life, real food. I cook it, I eat it. I am not going to be fannying around with photography equipment to get the best shot of a cottage pie. You’ll get a quick snap on my iPhone before it goes cold and that’s about it. I’m not a professional photographer, cook or food stylist. I am me, busy working mum of two trying to feed her family.

I’ll blog when the feeling takes hold and not because I have to. That might be once a day, once a week or sometimes once a month but I have to stop letting it consume and control me. It doesn’t pay my bills or take care of my children. I need to focus my energies on the important stuff and see blogging for what it is – a hobby.

I’ve joined too many commenting rings and the like, and not got around to completing them which lets others down. This was driven by the desire to have more comments, likes, shares as I was feeling that validated me more, but while I have found several other blogs I read often and I enjoy reading the comments, it’s fake isn’t it? Which means it’s quite meaningless.

As well as letting people down, I too have been let down by PR companies and brands, most recently when I had been approached directly to attend Camp Bestival again but this was pulled – annoyingly I had spent my free time writing posts promoting the event on here and social media, and of course had told my children and got them excited about it (my own fault, lesson learned) but I am not going to get into that situation again.

So there you have it – hopefully living by these ‘rules’ will help me find my way back to blogging, because I really do want to, and I do miss it. I’m going to kick start myself with thinking about a 40 before 40 list (cliche I know, but I have a lot I want to achieve and need some motivation – three years to go!) and maybe a small blog redesign as that always gets my blogging juices going again.

I just hope there is still someone out there reading!

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73 Questions with Mrs M

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I’m sure unless you’ve been living under a blogging rock you will have seen this meme type thing doing the rounds. I don’t normally get involved in these, and I haven’t been tagged at all, but I do enjoy the “73 Questions” feature that Vogue do on YouTube so I thought I’d join in.  If you haven’t seen these snappy interviews, then look them up. My personal favourite is the one with Sarah Jessica Parker, mainly because I love her.

73 Questions with Mrs M

1. Were you named after anyone? No.
2. When was the last time you cried? Watching Surprise Surprise at Christmas.
3. Do you like your handwriting? It’s okay when I take time to write carefully.
4. What is your favourite lunch? A BLT with mayo.
5. Instagram or Twitter? Twitter.
6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? Fo’sho!
7. Do you bake? Yes, often.
8. Do you like flying? No. I love to travel but I hate flying.
9. Would you bungee jump? Not in a month of Sundays.
10. What is your favourite cereal? Coco Pops.
11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Never!
12. Do you think you’re strong? Physically? No.
13. What is your favourite ice cream? Rum and raisin.
14. What is the first thing you notice about someone? Shoes.
15. Red or pink? Red
16. What is the least favourite thing about yourself? My tummy.
17. Who do you miss the most? My nan, she died when i was 12 and i don’t feel i ever really got to know her.
18. What was the last book you read because everyone was reading it? Gone Girl.
19. What film made you cry the most? The Notebook.
20. What was the last thing you ate? Cheese on toast.
21. What are you listening to right now? The children watching tv.
22. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? Red.
23. Favourite smell? Would it be weird if I said a Sharpie?
24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My husband.
25. Mountain hideaway or beach house? I’m a beach girl!
26. Favourite sport to watch? F1 motor-racing or ice hockey.
27. Hair colour? Browny-red.
28. Eye colour? Brown.
29. Puppies or kittens? Puppies.
30. Favourite food? Cheese – all of it.
31. Scary film or happy endings? Happy endings.
32. Last film you watched? Mamma Mia.
33. What book are you reading now? Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
34. Summer or winter? Summer.
35. Hugs or kisses? Kisses.
36. Favourite dessert? Creme brulee
37. Favourite room in your house? My kitchen.
38. How long have you been on Facebook? About ten years.
39. What is your favourite country to visit? Italy.
40. What was the last country you visited? Belgium.
42. Favourite sound? That glug when you open a new bottle of wine…
43. Rolling Stones or the Beatles? Beatles.
44. What is the farthest you have been from home? Barbados.
45. Do you have a special talent? Not that I am aware of.
46. Where were you born? Warwickshire, England.
47. Where are you living now? On the outskirts of Birmingham.
48. Favourite hitchcock movie? Never seen one.
49. What book have you read again and again? Wuthering Heights.
50. Favourite tv series that’s on now? Call the Midwife.
51. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? Both.
52. What’s your favourite drink? Red wine or diet coke.
53. Who is your girl crush? Jennifer Lawrence.
54. What was the first film you saw at the cinema? Joy.
55. Heels or flats? Heels.
56. Favourite bed time story? Anything by Roald Dahl.
57. Bath or shower? Shower.
58. Whats the hardest thing about being a mum? All the tidying up!
59. Favourite band? The Killers.
60. Favourite solo artist? Taylor Swift.
61. To be or not to be? To be.
62. What would be the title of your autobiography? And then there was cheese.
63. Best gift you’ve ever received? The gift of time.
64. Best gift you’ve ever given? Pass.
65. Favourite fruit? Apricot
66. What was your first pet? A goldfish.
67. Favourite board game? Game of Life – the 1980s version.
68. How do you have your coffee? I hate coffee!
69. Best invention? iPad
70. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds.
71. Blow dry or air dry? Air dry.
72. Cheap or expensive shampoo? Cheap – my favourite is the £1 coconut one from Bodycare!
73. How difficult was it to answer these questions? Not too difficult.

And now you know a little more about me – even if it is totally useless, pointless stuff!

I’m not going to tag anyone so if you want to give the 73 questions a go yourself, go for it and make sure you let me know so I can check them out!  If you’ve already done this, leave a comment below so I can read yours.

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