Wednesday, 30 November 2011

NaBloPoMo - The Conclusion



I definitely made the right decision when I chose NaBloPoMo rather than NaNoWriMo.

Could I have written 1500 words a day that could be considered literature?
Would my family have moved out in the search for food?
Would my fingers be reduced to bleeding stumps?
Would my eyes be bloodshot and out on stalks?

In answer to the above, no, yes, yes, yes.
And would I have a novel that I was proud of? A categorical NO.

Instead I joined in with Britmums NaBloPoMo (or Write a blog post every single day through November whilst trying to gain new readers whilst hanging on to the ones you've got). This required on average 321 words per day taking about 40 minutes to write, 1 awesomely edited photo a day *cough* requiring 30 minutes on Picnik, and add to that time to read other blogs and comment.

The writing was easy (thanks to a couple of timely memes to fill in a couple of gaping holes in my otherwise fun packed blogging calendar) but the hard part for me was giving enough time to other people's posts and giving them the comment love that I wanted to give. My comments became more meagre and uninspiring as the month went on but I did comment whenever I could. I know for those of you who are stat-aholics, a comment is a comment and counts for your rankings, but I am not as sensitive to my stats. Don't get me wrong, I look at my page views, I am disappointed if I don't get any comments, I worry if no one visits my blog and I plug my posts all over twitter and facebook. I write for pleasure, but I also write for recognition and for appreciation. I am a blogger but I am also a person *wibble*, which is why I like to give something back in my comments if I can, it is just an extension of my writing after all.

I could have spent more time on the writing, at times it was just pushed out rather than considered, there wasn't much time to actually do anything to write about either, which has led me to the conclusion that I shouldn't try to write a post a day from now on. Keep it natural and when the writing inspiration hits, I am poised and ready at the keyboard (life permitting, those little people may get in the way on occasion).

You will glad to hear that I am not going to be force feeding you through December, there will be enough of that in the form of mince pies and chocolate (I hope), but what I do feed you will be high quality, refined and heartfelt. At least I'll try ;)

Thank you for sticking with me. Normal service will soon be resumed. By normal I refer you to the last sentence of the previous paragraph. Any other interpretation of the word 'normal' is unintentional.

NaBloPoMo, I bid you goodnight.

*dashes off to think about tomorrow's post*
*hah, I don't need to now, do I?*
*but I may want to, it being December and the run up to Christmas, and all*
*oh poppycock (heavy emphasis on last syllable) where did I hide the advent calendars*
*rummages in cupboard* *drags out sorry looking supermarket advent calendars* *calculates time available to hand craft something more blog worthy*

*head desk*




The Gallery - The Kitchen

I have a dream... that one day I will have a huge kitchen, big enough for a table that fits us all, room enough for a sofa where I can read/blog/snooze and listen to the radio, stable doors to the garden so I can nip out to pick fresh herbs, oh, and is self cleaning.

Until then, I'll make do with my small, dated kitchen/office.

There is just about room for a small person to sit on the counter and assist in the culinary creativity, or just lick a spoon when required. I love that they want to join in but in doing so I have to suspend my 'control freak' nature and try to not panic that the butter hasn't creamed perfectly or that there are still lumps of flour. I don't know how Katie does it on I Can Cook. I would want to leap in and 'help' the little ones. I always wonder whether, if left totally unaided, their food would be edible.

This set of pictures was taken on one of the first occasions I let The Big One loose with the spoon. He loved it. Particularly the tasting parts.

Mummy, can I have a go?
I think we need a smaller bowl.
Taa daa!
Oops. Caught!
Another one. Just to be sure.


I am joining in with Tara at Sticky Fingers who set the theme of Kitchen for this weeks Gallery.


Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Snap Slappers Week 3

Welcome back to Snap Slappers. Good to see that you haven't seen sense yet and admitted your addictions!

I'm going from strength to strength. So far my record for Picniking is about 4 hours in one session. You know, when you get sucked in, tweaking and adjusting and doodling and then you look up and not only has your tea gone cold but your children have redecorated the sitting room, and there appears to be someone asleep on the sofa.

When I left it, the sofa looked like this:

Sofa


But 4 hours later, it looks like this:

Sunday Sofa by FiveGoBlogging and Picnik/></a></div>
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Join in below and have a look to see what everyone else has been doing to their poor unsuspecting photos.<br />
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<a href=Five Go Blogging Snap Slappers




Monday, 28 November 2011

Tattoos

The Princess tiptoed to me and whispered that she wanted a tattoo.
A rose perhaps on her hip?
A Love and Hate across her knuckles?
A dolphin on her ankle?

No a butterfly on her hand.
And a spider on her arm.
And another butterfly on the other arm.
And another butterfly on her other hand.

My artistic abilities have been tested but, the face paints and dodgy brush aside (always blame your tools), I don't think my efforts are too shabby.



Her reciprocal tattoo on my hand however could be interpreted in many ways.


And not to be outdone....

His Wee-ness

Can you tell what it is yet?

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Saturday is Caption Day

We went walking this week (well we go walking every day of every week which you kind of have to do if you own a dog) and as I was setting up a photograph of the Princess my back was turned. When I turned back this is what I found.

Socks and Shoes in Stamford


What witty-ness is out there this week?

Think up a caption and post it in the comments. Then head over to the Queen of Captions, Mammasaurus, to see the other photos queuing up for your captions.


Friday, 25 November 2011

Walk with me a while...

... along some leaf strewn paths that dazzle with jewel like colours, down a cobbled lane that wrecks your heels, across a river populated with expectant ducks, and past some oddities that catch the eye. Or in other words, our morning walks with Misty Moo.

I took these photos over a couple of mornings which explains the mist suddenly disappearing and Princess's outfit change mid walk (she is not in the habit of taking a change of outfit on our dog walks ordinarily).

Our street is very ordinary so I will spare you the pebble dash semis and start with a little colour, a little leaf action and some rather fetching railings.

autumn leaves

green railings

Thhrowing leaves

And down this cobbled street ...

kingsmill lane stamford cobbled street
 ...to the meadows, the river, and the ducks. And I always forget to bring bread for them. I don't think they go hungry though.

River Welland Stamford

ducks from above


river welland stamford meadows

autumn leaves

Finally a stop off at a couple of local landmarks. Wouldn't stop there for a picnic mind.

daniel lambert cemetery stamford

stamford mosaics

Right, who's for a cup of tea?



Thursday, 24 November 2011

Wot So Funee

I just had to tell you this one...

The Big One: Mummy, can I have an xbox?
Me: Well, Christmas is coming and you will have to see what Santa brings. *not an xbox*
The Big One: But I need one now.
Me: Christmas is not for another 4 weeks.
The Big One: But it's not a Christmas present. *Big Sigh* It's just an xbox.
Me: It's not just an xbox. They are expensive and they are definitely something that Santa brings. *I definitely should not have said 'definitely'*
The Big One: BUT IT'S NOT A SANTA PRESENT! We have them all the time.
Me: Eh?
The Big One: I just want to make a model turtle with it. Look.

Produces instructions to make a turtle using an...

Egg Box.



Note to self: Get my hearing checked.

Head over to Actually Mummy where there are more Funeeees!


Wot So Funee?

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

So Proud

With a brief like "Something you are proud of" for The Gallery, I have only one choice and that is my beautiful, amazing, sometimes annoying, and more often gobsmackingly awesome children.

Every day there is something, a little thing, a massive thing, that makes me so proud of who they are and what they will become.

The Big One is everything a big brother should be, caring, bossy and thoughtful with a small dash of cheekiness thrown in. The Princess will be protected by her brothers, but will forge a path all for herself and will look after them in her stride. The Wee One will be mischievous, make me gasp at his nerve and will have courage beyond his fears.

Together they are invincible.


The Gallery is the brainchild of Tara at Sticky Fingers.


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Snap Slappers - Week 2

Hello.

My name is Five Go Blogging and I am an addict.

I hereby declare this meeting of Picnik-aholics Anonymous open.

Thank you MelkshamMum for pointing out my addict status on twitter last night. I have previously been in denial but this is the natural course for addicts I have found. Denial first, realisation and then the cry out for help.

HELP fellow addicts! HELP ME!

I don't want help to overcome my addiction though. I want your help to populate this linky.

Pick a snap, any snap. Slap some effects on it and post. Then link up here for mutual admiration and 'oohs' and 'ahhhs' at the madness and artistic delight.

This is a pic I took in the summer (the clue is the sunshine, bright clothing and lack of raincoat).


 And by the magic that is Picnik I have transformed it to this.



I can't wait to see yours so don't forget to link up, grab the badge and tell your friends.
The more the merrier x


Five Go Blogging Snap Slappers





Monday, 21 November 2011

My Blog Is Great. And Versatile!

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thanking you kindly, Bibsey and Here Come The Girls.

Not only is my blog great but it is also versatile.

According to the dictionary, the definition of versatile is to be capable of turning easily from one task to another. In the blink of an eye, I can hop from one crisis to another, I can juggle three children, I can see through walls (if small children are on the other side) and I can rustle up dinner using only a tin of tuna and a cream cracker (that last example may be an exaggeration but if anyone does have a recipe I would be grateful).

The responsibility of such an auspicious award is to reveal a few more tasty tidbits about myself and (much like the reigning Miss World who hands her crown on to her successor) present the award to a further collection of deserved bloggers.

I've decided to follow a theme on this one and reveal seven things about myself related to versatility.

  1. I am not only numerate but also creative (left and right brained).
  2. I have 7 uses for a muslin cloth:
    1. Burp cloth
    2. Sun hat (for child or adult!)
    3. An emergency nappy
    4. A blanket for cooler summer breezes
    5. A bib
    6. A nap sack for running away with
    7. Bandanna
  3. I will write about anything (sports nutrition to muslin cloths).
  4. I am happy with either milk or dark chocolate.
  5. I can find 1001 ways to fill an afternoon if I am trying to avoid doing something else.
  6. I am happily entertained by any number of different reality TV shows.
  7. I am a very versatile guest: black tie, formal, smart casual, cocktails, dinner or dancing. Just need a few invitations.

So my versatile bloggers, over to you:

The Love Bump
Luce Woman
Mrs Slummy Mummy
Lagos Mum
Middle Aged Cred
At Home With Mrs M
Piglet In A Poke

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Silent Sunday

Fineshade Woods

One picture, no words.

Head over to twitter and search #silentsunday for more.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Saturday is Caption Day

Get your giggle on! It's caption time!

You know what to do by now. Just leave your caption ideas in the comments.

Apple teeth

Next stop, Mammasaurus!


Friday, 18 November 2011

My Blog Is Great

No. Really. It is.
Motherventing says so. And you wouldn't want to disagree with her. She rashly promised to give up biscuits this month and she is in withdrawal, so tread carefully.

Apparently I get an award that says so too. I will polish it daily and display it in my Trophy Cupboard.
However, there is a small catch. A condition of acceptance of this award is that I must reveal 7 secret things about myself for you all to wonder at.



Secret 1. I know how cranes are erected. Like this.

Secret 2. I was a massive Secret Seven fan in my youth. Hah! 7 secrets, Secret Seven. Brilliant.

Secret 3. I am a lover of retro confectionery. Ferrero Rocher, Matchmakers, Star Bars, Toffifee, and Texan Bars. In another life I would have a sweet shop filled with sweets from my childhood. I would never leave. Primarily because I would be too fat to fit through the door ;)

Secret 4. I cannot get drunk. Or more accurately I can get drunk but it is guaranteed to be a messy affair involving dettol.

Secret 5. I am a highly intelligent person who fools everyone on an hourly basis into thinking I am a flaky stay at home mum.

Secret 6. I am so intelligent and in tune with retail promotional strategy that I will not be starting my Christmas shopping until 5 days before the 25th with the exception of...

Secret 7. ...the Christmas Advent Calendars which are hidden in the cupboard under the stairs (but don't tell anyone).


Now the lovely bit where I get to pass the love on to more deserving bloggers, 15 of them. Crikey. (Actually kind of hard to find 15 bloggers who haven't been awarded already!)

More than a mum
Brink of Bedlam
The Kitchen Mechanic
Cheetahs in my Shoes
Mummy is a Gadget Geek
Mummy Barrow
Cats Yellow Days

Okay, I give up. Seven winners of the Seven Secrets award. That works right?

Tally ho!

And thank you to The Princess and The Pickle who also thought I deserved this award. Does that mean mine can be twice as big as everyone elses?


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Lazybloggeritis

Wordle: meme


I think I may be suffering from a contagious lurgy. Symptoms include brain ache, sloppy writing, lack of inspiration, seeing blog badges before my eyes, and a strong sense of deja vu. I think I may be a lazy blogger.

You see doctor, there are just so many great linkys, blog hops and memes out there that I could sometimes post more than once a day just joining in with everyone elses's great ideas. And in a month where so many of us are partaking in NaBloPoMo this is clearly very helpful and frankly much needed. (Brain ache!)

But (there is always a but isn't there, and this is where I get to the point, I think, hopefully) am I a lazy blogger if I join in with too many blog hops? And, important this bit, how many is too many? Granted, many of them are blog hops where you link in your own original post, as long as it ties in with the theme, so there is the prerequisite that you have written something in the first place. So that isn't lazy is it? Or does using a prompt from someone else class you as lazy too? Oh hell!

I guess there are echoes in this post of the balance between reviews and interesting unique writing from the author. I know that debate has been aired recently and I am firmly in the camp of, if the review is relevant to me I will read it, if not I will click away, hopefully not stumbling upon another blog reviewing the exact same thing in the process.

At this point in the proceedings, I should add that this post comes only 2 days after I started my own blog hop. (Hypocrite!). It's called Snap Slappers and all you have to do is... SORRY!

So what's a blogger to do?

On reflection, having given it considerable consideration, I've thought long and hard and I have reached a decision. I have to be true to my heart. Oh, Dermot this is really difficult.

I am going to continue with the linkys and blog hops that I do.
I will join in if I have a relevant post to link with.
I will ensure that I am giving good blog through original and thought provoking posts (That'll be a first).
I will continue to waste many hours to photo editing ;) to ensure that I have beautiful/hilarious/witty images to accompany my words of wisdom.

As for the stats, well that's another whole conversation.

Blog on my friends. Blog on!

By the way, if you have a meme and you would like to send it my way. Please do! I have some serious gaps in my blogging calendar for the rest of NaBloPoMo! Just don't call me lazy!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Gallery - 11.11.11

The brief this week from Tara at Sticky Fingers was to take a picture on November the 11th 2011 and post it.

11.11.11 is pretty cool as far as dates go isn't it. It would have made a great shot to take a picture of the date and time on my mobile phone at 11.11 but guess what? I didn't think of that. I saw a freind posted one on facebook and then I tried to reset my clock on my phone to sort of well, fake it. But a) I messed up the date format totally and b) that would be cheating really.

Instead I took The Princess into town where there was a Armistice Day parade and I took this photo after the event when everyone had gone back to their day to day business. It was the first time I had really taken notice of the mosiac tile plaques in the pavement just in front of the Memorial. They are really beautifully detailed depicting the Royal British Legion, The Polish Parachute Brigade Lincolnshire and the Royal Air Force to name just a few.

Here she is examining the Royal British Legion which was her favourite due to the sparkly eyes on the lion.


Armistice Day Royal British Legion 11th November 2011

I look forward to seeing all the other entries in The Gallery.


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Snap Slappers Week 1

Welcome to the inaugural Snap Slappers blog hop, inspired by a little competition I set on Twitter with Mammasaurus, Motherventing and BlueBirdSunshine and the fantastic photo-editing site Picnik.

This is where you can get as creative or artistic as you can with your photos.
Post up a before and after editing photo on your blog and link up here.
If you would like to reveal the processes you used to create your image so others can have a go to create the same effects, feel free. If you wish to keep your creative tools a secret, that's your privilege.

So my entry this week is a fun one. I threw some lovely effects at it and then had a little doodle too.

Here is Misty Moo looking gorgeous, slightly suspicious and definitely ready to be pimped!


And here she is in all her glory (inspired by Lady GaGa).


I can't wait to see yours so don't forget to link up, grab the badge and tell your friends.
The more the merrier x


Five Go Blogging Snap Slappers




Monday, 14 November 2011

Dear Santa



Inspired by the amazing From Fun To Mum

Dear Santa,

I have been very good this year. Honest. I know there may have been a couple of instances where I was a bit shoutier with the children than I should have been and I have been staying up later than I should but I have only had two major hangovers this year. I have looked after the children single handedly through the whole summer so surely a couple of hangovers can be overlooked. And those sweets that were for the children, well they said I could eat them after they had gone to bed. They didn't want them really.

So could you please arrange it for me to.. No wait, that was the beginning of the Dear Jim letter wasn't it?

Sorry.

Please can I have the following:
  1. A medal. It's been a long year.
  2. Gin. It's been a long year.
  3. A cure for the common cold. It would be super nice of you of you could arrange this before the 25th. Thanks
  4. An iPad. This old laptop is starting to show signs of stress, and wouldn't it be a major calamity of I was unable to blog? I know you are a subscriber ;)
  5. A sponsor for Britmums Live, oh and maybe Cybher too while you are about it (may be pushing my luck a bit). 
  6. A zoom lens for my camera would be very much appreciated. Then I can Picnik the close ups too.
  7. Please let The Big One believe in you for at least another year. I don't want the magic to end for him just yet.
You see my needs aren't that great.

But please, if I had to prioritise, can you give me number 7.

Merry Christmas.

Dear So and So - The Being Brave Edition




Dear Papworth Hospital,

I've heard great things about you. If you could just keep that reputation up for the next few weeks, that would be fabulous.

Yours, a rather nervous patient's daughter.

-----------------------------------------

Dear Surgeon,

Please get an early night. Please eat a healthy, slow energy release, cereal-based breakfast. Please don't be distracted by what might be on TV later, the new Boden catalogue or whether your cat is pregnant. Please focus. Please concentrate. Please. Thanks.

Yours, the daughter of the woman you are operating on this Tuesday.

-----------------------------------------


Dear Mum's Heart,

I know this probably all looks a bit scary from where you're sitting (and frankly from where I am too) but this is seriously going to make everything a whole lot easier. I know it feels like you are trying to suck an extra thick McD's milkshake up a very thin straw. Well soon your straw will be a nice big thick one.

Yours, an expert on McD's milkshakes.

-----------------------------------------

Dear Mum,

Do what the doctors tell you. I know you wont want to get out of bed and climb those daft pretend stairs that lead to, er, well, nowhere, but do it. Don't use the excuse that you live in a bungalow and wont need to climb stairs, there are stairs in the outside world. It will be worth it.

Yours, your bossy stubborn daughter.

------------------------------------------

Dear Dad,

She's gonna be fine.

Love you. x


Thanks to 3 Bedroom Bungalow  for the linky x


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Silent Sunday


Go onto Twitter and search #silentsunday for lots more pictures to sum up this week.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Saturday Is Caption Day!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to think of a caption for this photo and then leave a comment demonstrating your superior sense of humour. Simple huh?




Thank you Mammasaurus x

Friday, 11 November 2011

Where I do it!

It.

Yes, IT.

I am quite new to it of course, but I have done it once in the bedroom, a few times on the sofa, more often on the dining table but most frequently in the kitchen. I like to get around a bit you see.

I am of course, referring to where I blog or my blogplatz.

Voice from back of the crowd: "You blog in the kitchen?"

Yes, my *ahem* office is in the kitchen. I use the word 'office' very loosely you understand. There is a high quality, perfectly formed Lack table from Ikea, a PC (very retro don't you know), a keyboard and mouse. To my left is a wall but to my right is the fridge where tonic, ice and lemon can be found. Within 3 paces is the cupboard where Gin can be found, and behind me is another cupboard with a selection of glasses, depending on my day I can lay my hands on a tumbler or a pint glass.

I did take a photo of my blogplatz thus:



But then decided a sketch would look better until it was sabotaged by a doodle that is not bloggable. I will say no more.

Where do you do it....



Chatty Baby?
A Party of Seven?
The Love Bump?

Now you MUST hop over to Bibsey's blog where everyone is doing it!
Thank you Melsham Mum for the tag  x mwah x