Anyone Seen My Confidence?

I love my children and I love being a Mum. Like most parents I often doubt how good I am at it though. My confidence seems to have buggered off on holiday and is currently getting smashed in a bar in Ibiza, dancing to the Macarena & fending off pissed up admirers who’ve had a little too much Dutch courage.  Do I do enough? Am I bringing them up the right way? Am I ballsing it up? Do they eat enough fruit, get enough sleep?It’s easy to doubt yourself though, probably far easier than it is to convince yourself that actually you’re doing your best and that your best IS good enough. When I had children I think my confidence took a knock as also spoken about by the lovely Lianne at Anklebiters Adventures, whilst I’ve never been much of a gobby cow I’m sure I was never quite as reserved as a kid/teen and would speak up if I needed to.

Sometimes you find yourself watching ‘that parent’ the one who just seems to constantly have their shit together and wish you could be just like them. They just have that air of togetherness about them and you just can’t imagine them flapping about forgetting to rub their concealer in or leaving shaving foam all over their chin. Have they though? Are they showing a calm and collected exterior when in reality they’ve spent the morning scraping shit off the bathroom floor or wondering how the feck they’re meant to remove the Sharpie drawn poo emoji from the hallway wall.

There’s a work colleague that I’ve known for a good few years that I’d love to be more like. Absolute opposite of me, he oozes confidence and lives his life not giving two f**ks what anyone thinks of him, not in a ‘he’s a bit of an arrogant twat’ kind of way, just the take no shit kind of way. For the purpose of this post we’ll call him Dave, I would like to be like him.

But I’m not.

I’m actually an anxious and quite shy person. People who know me well would probably read this and think “huh?” forgetting that when they first met me I would have been the one sat in the corner, not saying a word. I hate being the centre of attention, having all eyes on me – one of the reasons I’d never want a big wedding. I hate being picked for role play scenarios during training at work, when my name is called I want to get up and run. Of course I can’t and don’t, mainly because my arse would wobble about way too much and draw even more attention to me but enough about that.

Some time ago I read a post by Amy Treasure about faking confidence and have kept it in mind ever since. In the post she talks about thinking of someone that you think of as really confident and do what you think they would. So I think of Dave and what he would do. I use it to stop myself from legging it away from something that makes me nervous.

I have started to force myself to be more confident even though I don’t really feel it. I find it quite easy to jump in and make myself heard when it’s anything to do with my children however if someone is upsetting me personally I tend to bite my tongue and fume inside. With age I’m finding I’m quicker to say my peace but I still go over things in my mind and wish I’d said this or that. I hope that in the years to come I’ll begin to feel more at ease with myself and find my long lost confidence.

Do you feel more or less confident after having children? Do you think you’re exactly the same as before or do you have ways of faking it til you make it too?

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Marigold Are 70!

When I hear the name Marigold I automatically think of the yellow gloves my Nan always wore to do the dishes. No matter how many times you offered to help, she’d say no and carry on. A few times though I did manage to get her to hand over those coveted gloves and let me wash a few cups even though they came up to my elbows! My Mum uses hers for all sorts of different things from doing some pottering round the garden to polishing her favourite Wedgewood plates.

We were sent some Marigold products to celebrate – would you believe – their 70th birthday? They’ve been around for all that time and are still as great today as they’ve always been.

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As well as the Extra-Life Kitchen gloves we also received Oops-Away cloths

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Cleaning Me Softly non scratch scourers and Thirsty Sponges

Extra Life Kitchen Gloves

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Bright yellow (just as I remember them all those years ago) these gloves are triple layered so they’re strong and tough which makes them ideal for lots of jobs not just the washing up. They can protect your hands during a whole host of jobs around the house including the dreaded toilet cleaning! They are very grippy,with a safe hold pattern to avoid that horrible feeling when a plate slips out of your hand and smashes into the other ones in the bowl! They are also fitted to the hand and go in at the wrist. If you’ve ever tried cheaper ones which fall down and come off you’ll know how important this is. These are now my go-to every time I do the dishes and it means my nail polish stays on a bit longer too!

Oops Away Cloths

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These pretty pink cloths come as a pack of 6 and can be used for lots of different jobs, including mopping up spills. Kitchen roll can be handy for this but also works out expensive when you can use these clothes again, they stay strong when they’re wet and don’t fall apart. They were also great for cleaning the kitchen work surfaces and wiping round the bathroom tiles.

Cleaning Me Softly

These non-scratch scourers come as a pack of 2, they are Teflon tested and approved. One side foam and the other rougher for those tough dishes. Casserole dishes can be a nightmare with burnt on sauces but these made quick work of removing it. I was really impressed with how easy it was to scrub away dirt without taking the coating off the non-stick pans, as well as cleaning glasses without marking.

Thirsty Sponge

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Come as a pack of 2 extra absorbent sponges. They’re nice and thick, made from 100% natural absorbent sponge, are strong and can be washed up to 60° (can be popped in the dishwasher/washing machine) which means its perfect for those dirty jobs, it means you can be sure they are clean again ready for the next job. We used ours to clean over the plastic patio furniture which had been in storage for a while and even though they were dusty the sponges cleaned them up no problem.

As you can see my daughter got her hands on some of the products to help out (i’m not complaining) and wiped over the kitchen table with the Oops Away cloths while wearing the gloves!

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More information about Marigold products can be found on their Website and Facebook page. What is your favourite Marigold product?

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*We were gifted the products for the purpose of this review however all opinions remain honest and my own*

Is Moving Out All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

Moving out. Not all it’s cracked up to be is it? Listening to my 18 year old  chatter about how great it will be when he moves out makes me think back *cough* 20 years ago to the times when I thought i was young and free. Yeah….

The first place I shared with a friend was an absolute dive. Oh dear lord it was horrific. Think of that place in your town or city that no-one wants to live in. That really horrible arsehole end of town that people make a face at when you mention it. People grip their handbags for dear life when even just walking around the outskirts of it. That’s where we lived.

The day we moved in (myself and another girl) we had already had a right day of it. Picture it. We’d gone to a local property management bloke who had been recommended because he didn’t ask for thousands up front and as we both had jobs but didn’t earn a mint it sounded ideal to us young, naive girls. Not sure what he was recommended for as he had no more knowledge of being a professional landlord  than I have of astro physics. He told us he had the perfect property for us. Oh how excited we were. Two 18 year olds moving their suitcases of, well… basically shoes, into a new place of our own. It was gorgeous, spacious and clean with a fantastic view. We’d only just started putting our clobber away when in through the door comes a couple. “What the f**k are you doing in our flat?” they spit at us. “Um, Mr X rented it to us” “well he can bloody well unrent it then it’s ours we’ve signed for it, get him on the phone”. This was back in the day when mobiles had only just come out. I picked up my brick to ring him. “I’m ever so sorry I’ve made a mistake” he says. “I’ll come and pick you up, I have just the place for you”. Shoes get bunged back into suitcases and off we go in the back of his Mcdonald’s wrappered car. He took us through the door and the wonder awaited us.

Just the place. JUST THE PLACE?

The excited giggles didn’t last long. They soon turned to shock. Then horror. The bright blue carpet in the front room had hundreds of pine needles stuck in it – I would later find myself on hands and knees with a pair of tweezers attempting to remove them. Hours of my life wasted. Half the floorboards were pulled up. Mr X told us this was because the electrics were being looked at. Speculation later from other friends was that there had been a drugs bust and we were living in some kind of Heroin hidey hole. Gawd. Although there was a handyman type guy who came around and disappeared down under the floor several times a day and once stood on a ladder to ‘fix the boiler’, I heard a spark and I kid you not he flew halfway across the room. Up he gets and starts jumping up and down on the spot stammering “I’m fine”.

Mr X told us the place was fully furnished. Bit economical with the truth there. It was to a degree but on looking at the bedrooms we realised they were full of stuff. Not just furniture but piles and piles of crap. We were told we couldn’t throw anything away as they belonged to the homeowner and as we were both about to go to work we felt we had no choice but to sign or find ourselves homeless. Pride stopped us from running back home after making such a big deal about leaving. When I got to work someone asked me if I was ok and I burst out crying. They thought someone had died. I put them right of course and told them that I’d just moved into the biggest sh*thole of a house known to man.

After work we got home and had a really good look around. On the plus side (the only one really) it had a gorgeous bathroom huge and really tidy. There was an attic type hatch in there, I never did find out where it led as the only time I put my hand in to feel around I pulled out a pile of dirty magazines, hastily shoved them back in and closed it forever. I would later be found on the loo, pants round my ankles in a cider induced slumber in that bathroom. Good job there were no camera phones then I can tell you. Got a lot of ribbing for that one from the group of friends stood in the doorway to laugh at my misfortune. The sods.

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My brother in our stylish living area.Yes that is an upturned coffee table.No I don’t know why.

There were 3 bedrooms. 1 of which had a random red lightbulb. It was from then on known as ‘the red room’. It was one of those rooms that gave you the heebie jeebies. It was floor to ceiling full of ‘things’ I say things because I actually have no real idea what was in there as I scarpered a bit quick. That room just wasn’t right. We ended up sharing a bed in the main bedroom because we didn’t want to move all the stuff off the middle bed. Lord only knows what you might find in there. People, dogs, whole family of rabbits. Who knows?

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A teenage me in my luxurious bedroom.

Mr X also turned out to be a right weirdo who entered the house whenever he felt like it especially if the rent was more than 3 minutes late. Once I caught him coming through the door having leapt out of bed and down the stairs and he said in a leary fashion “oh that nightie is really see through” (it wasn’t) and that was actually an occasion where I told him to “knob off out of my house.”

I eventually moved from there to a much tidier flat in a nice part of town and life was much different. Maybe doing it the way I did was a learning curve, did me good. Or maybe I should have just admitted to my Mum the place was a dive and gone home. C’est La Vie.

Did you move out into a sensible place or did you too live in a craphole?

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Monday Stumble Linky

Shall we naff off then?

My Mum and I went to a restaurant today. I use the term ‘went’ loosely because by ‘went’ i mean we attended said establishment however after we were shown to our table in a corner in the busiest, noisiest place I have ever set foot in and my Mum had to wait to sit down because the girl at the table 6 inches away from us decided to take her time removing her coat with elbows all over the shop like a dancing toddler, my Mum started doing her signature ‘getting her hair off face’. Not a good start. We picked up a menu and shouted “what do you fancy” like literally shouted. She looked at me. I looked at her. “This isn’t for us is it?” I said. “Not quite what I was expecting no” she said. “Shall we naff off then?” I said. The relief literally jumped out of her and did a jig. Only we had to get out of there.

Now a few years ago I would have run out, phone clamped to my ear shouting “what do you mean she’s vomiting so much it’s like a Nanny Plum jelly flood? I’ll be right there” grimace at the dude on the door and run.

Not this time however. I am finally one of them there adults. I didn’t rush. I didn’t lie. I looked him straight in the eye and said “mate it’s too busy in here and the noise is doing my head in.” And left. He just looked on flabberghasted. Did I feel bad? Nope. It wasn’t like we were the only people in a bar full of tumbleweed, they were busy. Did I feel all smug that I’d done it rather than being all British and smiling and telling them how great it was despite dying slightly inside? Too bloody right. This of course wasn’t their fault. They want the place to be busy that’s the whole point, this was my personal opinion.

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It reminds me of the time back when I met my partner. He painted my house, a mutual friend of ours that worked with him kept telling me how “his butty was single” (if you’re not Welsh I’m NOT talking about his sandwich here) and how I should go out with him. I sniggered but eventually handed over my number. Which I found out years later he’d promptly chucked in the bin thinking his mate was joking.

We did eventually go on a date though to a local pub. It was lovely. For our 2nd date I got to choose where we went and I picked a local hotel that had a nice restaurant. I got dressed up and we went. Only the look on his face said it all as the guy at the door looked him up and down took my coat.

“This is a bit f**king fancy isn’t it?” he said as he eyed up the cutlery set up on the table. The tinkly piano music in the background. My brain started screaming ‘Oh God, I HAVE MADE A HUGE MISTAKE’.

‘How can I get out of this?’I started panicking. He hates it. It’s too posh. The b**tard is common as muck. Egg on his chips kind of guy. What the hell was I thinking?

“Right lets go” spills out of my mouth without meaning to. He nods. We get up. Half walk, half run to the door. I grab my coat. We shout “sorry gotta go” over our shoulders and leg it to the car.

Then drove to a Harvester instead. And we laughed and laughed. That’s how we knew we were meant to be.

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#Blogtober17
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

 

Num Noms Wacky Bakers

When we were asked if we fancied joining in with Num Noms #WackyBakers I thought it sounded like good fun. If you haven’t heard of Num Noms they’re really cute little scented collectibles which stack together.

They come as a set with Nums and Noms with Nums being shaped for going on top of Noms to make a flavour combo. The packet we received was a Series 2 set called the ‘Freezie Pops family’. Which contained 5 Nums 2 moving ‘Go-Go’ Noms , a surprise packet, a mini dish and a dinky icecream scoop.

The Num Noms we had with ours were:

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  1. Sushi Num – Oni Girl (from the surprise packet)
  2. Kiwi Freezie
  3. Creamy Pop
  4. Wild Berry Pop
  5. OJ Pop
  6. Nana Pop
  7. Icy Pina Go-Go
  8. Icy Peach Go-Go

When the button is pressed on the Go-Go Noms they move along with the Num sat on top, the kids loved this and kept swapping them around to see which one looked the best!

Once we’d had a little play we moved onto our #WackyBakers recipe.Since we had the ‘Freezie Pops’ set our first idea was to do some lollies only silly Mummy couldn’t find the mould so we had another think about it and came up with a stackable sorbet concoction instead. We decided to call a ‘Freezie Fancy’. Our ingredients were:

  • Sponge Icecream Cookies
  • Lemon Sorbet
  • Strawberry Sorbet
  • Orange & Lemon Jelly Slice Decorations
  • Wafer Curls
  • Raspberry Sauce

 

The kids donned their special Num Noms chef hats and got all their ingredients together. We used an sponge icecream cookie for the base so it had something to sit on otherwise we would have ended up with a bit of a mess! We put a scoop of strawberry them lemon sorbet on top before using the wafer curls, jelly slices (soo reminded me of baking with my Nan when I was little) and raspberry sauce as decoration.

 

I was totally expecting to have a huge mess to clear up at the end but their genuinely wasn’t any, the kids had really great fun making their ‘Freezie Fancy’ so much so that when their cousin came round the next afternoon they made it again with her! After showing off the Num Noms first of course!

 

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*We received the Num Noms pack free for the purposes of this review however all opinions remain honest and our own*