29 Apr 2015

Wicked Wednesdays - Mummy Shaming

My finest parenting moment this week - Toddler45 decided to lie face down on the pavement on the way home from nursery  and have a full tantrum because I wanted him to get back in the buggy. What did I do? I laughed and took a photo obviously!

Linking up to WickedWednesdays over on Brummy Mummy of 2.


26 Apr 2015

The Ultimate Guide To Mummy Maintenance - A Blogger Collaboration

Over at Moderate Mum, the lovely Charlene has brillliantly answered my question on dealing with your identity shift once you become a mum. So in return, I'm answering this question...
..."You seem like you've got your beauty groove down...With the time and practicality of keeping up with all the womanly grooming I used to love pre baby, I'd like to know, what's your ultimate guide to mummy maintenance?"...
I feel ill-equipped to answer this, being a self-confessed slummy mummy but I have gained a lot of confidence since I had my son - or as I see it, I give a shit less. If I want to wear make up/look nice, I will, if I don't, I won't. However, it's massively time dependent, so I just like things that make me feel good, which in turn I think make me look good. Here's what works for me.....

Hair Colour
I have really dark hair so never coloured it due to expense/faff. Now I have lots of little grey fuckers hairs so needs must. I am really enjoying trying out life as a red-head. It's an easy change, took an hour or so to do and I feel really good about myself! I think it's something nice and fun also. I use this shade

I've always had a bit of a thing about a well plucked eyebrow. It's one of those things that just brightens your whole face without people being able to put their finger on what you've done...I tend to get mine threaded 2-3 times a year (it's about £10) and then maintain the shape myself at home.

Foot de-hobbitting
Having nice nails - hands and feet - can really boost my mood. To this end I've started bunging a quick bit of foot-scrub on my tootsies in the shower every few days and slapping on the moisturiser and socks before bed. My feet and nails look much better and ready for a quick bit of polish when the sun arrives!

Not posh expensive ones, just investing in decent polish and a shiny topcoat and then ear-marking time to do it. I do my nails on a monday evening after all chores are done. I settle down to watch Revenge and by the end my nails are done and dry . I then go to bed so no risk of damage. My favourites are Dorothy Shoes nails using the shades below. For the record, glitter polish hides chips really well. Also, if you're a fan of Rouge Noir colour polish, update your look by going for a dark green or navy blue.

 Make up routines
This is a case of really knowing what works for you and for what occassions. I have 3 different looks depending where I'm going and how much time I have. I know exactly what order to do it in and what products I need. I can do my make up in 10mins or 20 as a result. Even with "assistance" from Toddler45 who loves applying make up to himself. He's a whizz with a powder brush!

Tutorials - Buzzfeed
A lot of mums I know struggle with the image changes post-baby. The hormonal soup we're in often results in changes to skin, hair and size, so sometimes we don't know what suits us any more. On my frequent night wakings I have spent an *embarrasing* amount of time on Buzzfeed. Which has its uses. 

Not just to tell me what's happened to those 90's hunks I loved (erk) but they have some great make up, hair and clothing tutorials on Buzzfeed Beauty. I learned most of my eyeliner tricks on there. So if you're up at night or have some spare time, check out those tutorials. Pinterest is also great for this and Bloglovin makes it very easy to find beauty bloggers.

Tip - remember that you don't need to look Pinterest Perfect. It's more to give you ideas about what might suit you and new things to try - and then adapting them to work for you and your life. You might also like this post.

Accessories - Amazon
There is little opportunity to shop solo as a parent. Particularly for accessories, which need a bit more time than a smash and grab shopping trip allows. This is where online shopping is your friend - and Amazon in particular. 

You can try all sorts of new jewellery, scarves, leggings, tops - whatever takes your fancy - for very little cost at all. This can be reflected in the quality but for a quick perk me up, or way to change your look, it's really good. Recently I've bought a pair of black spiked hoops and some blue galaxy style leggings, both for less than £5. 

If you're looking to splash a bit more cash and get something unique, you could do worse than try Stella and Dot. It's relatively new to the UK but featured in quite a few fashion mags already so perfect for birthday and Christmas pressies. Their statement necklaces and charm bracelets/chain are fab but I love my tech wallet in cobalt best.

Soooooooo that's my best effort at mummy maintenance - what are your top tips and links - do share with us below!

Thank you and goodnight,

Stupidgirl has left the building.

Mama and More

22 Apr 2015

Wicked Wednesdays - Evil Mummy Strikes Again....

So this picture happened.

I can only assume he's pissed off about being forced to have a picnic lunch on the balcony in the sunshine. Also cross at then being put in shorts. Maybe it's because they weren't sequinned like my shorts are.....

Anyway, that's my contribution to #wickedwednesdays!

Thank you and goodnight,



21 Apr 2015

Why I Had A Blogging Break

So, in case you hadn't noticed. I didn't blog for a couple of weeks. I have no real excuse for this. Although I do feel a bit like a fake blogger sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I love writing, love the platform and the opportunity and the community, but sometimes it all gets too much for me. A bit like real life, I'm a secret introvert - I'm massively extroverted, most of the time and then sometimes being the loud, chatty, happy friendly person is too much and I need a little lie down away from the all the noise. It's the same with blogging. Sometimes it's just a bit draining.

I know it's my own fault - no one asked me to blog, I choose to do this - but I'm hugely competitive and put so much pressure on myself, even though I have no real desire to do reviews of change bags, or bottles or blinds or much else for that matter. And even though I kind of have some expertise in other areas - social media, recruitment, disability - I kind of feel like those are all covered off by better people and also my blog is not the place for those. So why blog at all really? I just like the opportunity, once in awhile to write something that resonates with other people - from eyeliner, to sleep deprivation to CBeebies. 

I don't know if other bloggers find it draining - those who are pro-bloggers, I have *no idea* how you manage it. Between working p/t, being a mummy/doing most of the childcare plus household chores/cooking/paperwork and the odd gossip with my friends, my time is consumed. Oh and spending some time with husbando and dealing with LO's night wakings, I'm all done in a lot of the time. The thing is, I have the ideas, blog posts come all the time, it's just finding the time to sit and write.

And also, I think it mostly comes down to it taking a lot of confidence to get thoughts down on a blogpost now. Blogging has changed a lot in the 6 years since I started. Although there have always been....unpleasant parts of the internet....the viral nature and mob mentality of social media scares me - and I say that with corporate experience not just personal knowledge of the interwebs. I self censor a lot more now and worry about sensitive topics that could offend people - even common mummy topics like breastfeeding or birth stories.

It's also confidence about my writing as a whole. I just wonder why bother to write, when it's such a time suck away from things I should be doing like laundry or paperwork. I know it's time for me but I often feel like it doesn't show its worth very often. It would almost be better if I did want to review things - I'd have something concrete to show for my time away from other seemingly more productive activities. And I'm still not getting anywhere with my book writing. The blog is excellent procrastination for that! 

So this post is a bit of a brain dump, a bit of an explanation as to not being around, and also a bit of a shout out to other bloggers. Do you feel like this too?

Thank you and goodnight

Stupidgirl has left the building

7 Apr 2015

Oh I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside....

We went to Wales to see the outlaws for Easter. One of my plans was to take more pictures of Toddler45 and Husbando together. I know there's a big focus on the mum staying in the picture, but due to OH's working hoours and camera-shyness we don't have many pics of them together.

So here they are on the beach at Aberavon.

Hope you all had a lovely Easter (or Pesach).

Thank you and goodnight,

Stupidgirl has left the building

You Baby Me Mummy

5 Apr 2015

An Evening in the Life of an Amateur Blogger

Collect child from childcare. Reply to incessant babble whilst trying to retain that evening's blog idea in your head and planning out post structure. Bribe with jaffa cakes Organix gingerbread men for some peace and quiet.

Shovel dinner into child. Whilst yoghurt is being lavishly spread across your kitchen floor, tidy and prepare dinner to enable you to eke out an hour of gossiping on social media blogging.

Read 675,984 bedtime stories, including The Cat in the fucking Hat, 6 times - end up feeling slightly stoned. Sing lullabies in a rapid whisper whilst checking Twitter to see which linkys you should be doing today. Try to remember which old posts you can rehash for these and also blogpost planned on the way home. 

Realise child is asleep and you're sitting in the dark whispering to yourself - use ninja moves to sneak out. Bung dinner in the microwave and grab wine and laptop, only to discover darling child has switched on airplane mode and hidden all your icons. Fuckitty fuck. Also, low battery, where is the cocking charger?

OH home, dish up dinner, offer perfunctory chat and affection whilst also figuring out how to fix laptop, remember linkys *and* blog post idea. Find charger behind nappy bin/in change bag/under buggy (delete as applicable).

Finally sit down with laptop and wine - thank christ. Open twitter, facebook, and blog. Immediately get sucked into black hole of chatting. Try to remind self of blog homework but instead continue discussion about latest TV hunk on twitter, cc'ing in said TV hunk via his twitter handle.

Remember what you're supposed to be doing and begin writing! Tweet loudly and gleefully about this. Get side tracked by linky admin. Feel irrationally annoyed when you're the 167th post on a linky which is the linky equivalent of being sent to Coventry. Vow to be organised. Google "blog organisation" and "social media strategy" and "pro-blogging". 

Blog post complete, yay! Fortify self for tedious task of link insertion/link checking, uploading images, appropriate tags and other thankless editing tasks with chocolate and more wine. Consider gin but think best not to mix on a school night after brief discussion on - where else - Twitter.  

Pimp post across social medias. Wonder if Mumsnet/Netmums/Tots100/ ParentDish feel very unspecial when you copy them all into the same tweet. Fill up entire timeline on Facebook and Twitter with links to new post. Fail to remember Hootsuite password. Feel annoyed you cannot schedule link to new post at 3am for people up nightfeeding. Because it's just what they need.....

Your mother tweets you "WHY TWEETING LINK LOTS ALL OVER PLACE". Feel ashamed of shameless self-promotion. Drink more wine and wonder if tonight's post is the one that will have The Huff Post, The Guardian *and* Red magazine emailing to commission you.  Distract self with blog stats instead.

Refresh blog stats

Refresh blog stats again

Refresh again. Small increase. Wonder if it's all worth it. Distract self by replying to backlog of comments. Wonder why some posts get more comments than others. Tell posts they are just as good as others. Consider perhaps lowering wine consumption as you are actually talking *to* your blog posts.

Yes - RTs/comments/likes! Even Mumsnet RT'd you, you feel like you've won the bastarding Pulitzer. Gabble away to all responses then retire to bed vowing to be more organised tomorrow, to plan blog posts, to schedule things and to dig out your Hootsuite password to enable this. You will be a pro-blogger, you will! 

In bed. Husband attempts conversation  You bat him away, there's still time to check twitter on your phone *and* get a couple of hours sleep before the baby wakes. And also, what was that other blog post idea you much write it down......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Unspecified middle of the night baby crying time am
Feed screaming baby. Check twitter. Realise you've put a massive typo in all your pimping out tweets. Wonder if you're really cut out for this. Resolve to drink less wine and worry about it all again tomorrow.....

Thank you and good night,

Stupidgirl has left the building

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4 Apr 2015

Sunday Kitchen Disco 3 - Some New Music

As this week has been full of work, household admin and travelling for Easter vacation, we've not done much kitchen disco-ing sadly. And the most common music request is still `Updown Funk` (!). To remind you, to join #sundaykitchendisco add your link below, paste in the badge to your post and tweet your post link to me for a RT - more info here.

However as I work from home, I listen to music a lot and thought I would share with you my most recent finds. I'm a bit behind with current popular music but I'm enjoying a lot of the below. If it helps, my music tastes are fairly free ranging, but more on the indie/metal/electro side.

I've blogged about Grimes before. She sounds like Kylie meets Aphex Twin. Pop meets electro armageddon. I'm loving new song REALiTi which she's binned off her album (god knows why). The video, shot in Asia, is great also. If you like this track, try Oblivion and Genesis.

The Jesus +Mary Chain
Not a new band by anyone's standards, I first heard them after wondering what this great song is at the end of Lost In Translation. Whingey indie/indie-drone, alt rock, I bought their greatest hits but then completely forgot about them until it came on my ipod the other day. I'm now hooked. Favourite track is Snakedriver but I also like You Trip Me Up and Sidewalking.

Kitty, Daisy + Louis
KD+L have been around for awhile - Amy Winehouse was a big fan - and I love their summery, retro big band-meets-motown sound. They have a gorgeous retro look too and are apparently great live. My favourite is I'm So Sorry with it' awesome video but also try Going Up the Country.

Crystal Castles
Not for the faint-hearted, CC's music is intense and relentless - an annihilating mix of beepy electro (chip-tune) that builds a total wall of sound with Alice Glass's incoherent, angelic tones over the top. Not In Love, ft Robert Smith is their most well known track but their triptych of albums is worth a listen. Try Alice Practice, Wrath of God and the haunting Child, I Will Hurt You.

If you like M.I.A or Missy Elliot you'll probably like Santigold. Her style is genre-bending but kind of pop, hip hop, indie, electro, funk. It's all in there. I love Shooting Arrows at the Sky from The Hunger Games OSD, but also worth checking out Disparate Youth and L.E.S. Artistes.

Looking forward to seeing all your links on the linky below!

3 Apr 2015

Feline Fine - Top Tips for Eyeliner Application

After my post on Top 10 Beauty Buys and an extensive discussion on Twitter about eye-liner application, I thought I'd go off tangent - again - and do a post on just that! The post is split by kit, key things to remember, tips for pencil/tips for liquid liner and then some 'don'ts'. To add, I bought everything myself, nothing has been sent to me to review. 

The Kit

Al of these have helped me with eye-liner application:
  • Good magnifying mirror, free standing and lit, ideally. I love this one from Boots. I use it to apply all my make up and it really means I get a very polished look. It's not essential but it does help. It's very helpful for spotting small errors and easy correction.
  • Cotton buds - any brand, but they are *perfect* for quickly swiping in to remove smudges, splotches and errors without needing to re-do your whole eye.
  • Pencil eye liner. I find the best pencil liners are soft and waxy, meaning they have a strong pigment, go on smoothly with little pressure but also smudge well - either to conceal errors or for a smoky look.  My top 3 pencil liners at different price points are Rimmel Soft Khol, Benefit Bad Gal and Lancome Crayon Khol.
  • Liquid liner. I recommend using a liner with a fibre tipped brush - like a felt pen - rather than a standard fine brush. The reason for this is that they are firmer, giving easy application and a solid line. They also go on smoothly and evenly. I like Rimmel as it lasts all day (or longer) and you get a lot in the tiny pot. I also recommend Sleek's liquid liner
  • Facial wipes/Baby wipes - self explanatory really but good for removing make up! And having a quick swipe in specific places without needing to remove everything.
Key Things To Remember:
1. Your eyes are sisters, not twins. So don't worry if your lines are not identical.
2. Practice makes perfect
3. Don't stress if you start out with mostly thicker lines, as you practice you'll get better at doing finer lines.
4. Start with a well prepped eye - apply foundation/concealer to your face if required and but key is to dust translucent powder over your face and *eyes*.
5. If you are wearing eye shadow(s) apply as normal prior to liner but save your darkest shade for *after* your eye-liner application.
6. Always pull your eyelid skin taut when using either type of liner. Not everyone agrees with this but it works for me.
7. If you have sensitive eyes, all these products *should* be okay but do check the labels. I have sensitive eyes/wear hard lenses and am fine with all these products. Also, when applying, go slow and allow your eyes to adjust between applying products.

Pencil Application Tips:
  • Start at the outer corner of your eye but with the pencil pointing up (this is key) and pressed against your skin. Then drag the pencil along the line of your eye, as close to your lashes as possible. This will give you a neat little flick, turning into a graduated line. Once you get about 3/4 across, I find it easier to then work from the inside corner out to meet the other line. This picture shows the pencil starting position although I prefer the pencil to be pointing straight up. 
credit. TNKHY
  • If you have any unevenness, the great thing about pencil is that you can just smudge and smooth it across and touch up if needed.
  • Dust your darkest eye shadow over your pencil line. This hides mistakes, softens the line and gives slight smoky effect. If you use a colour that highlights your eye colour (eg green eyes/dark purple shadow) it can really make your eyes "pop".
Liquid Liner Application Tips:
  • Rest your arm on a solid surface. It does help a lot. 
  • Trace the line in pencil first. Then go over in liquid liner - much easier!
  • Fill in gaps with your eyes open. This sounds nuts but if you've got a few wiggly bits/uneven application, a fibre tipped brush makes it surprisingly easy to correct these with your eyes open and a steady hand. You can almost 'dot' or 'dash' it on.
  • To get a decent cat-eye flick, I use this trick.  It it *so* easy!
credit http://avintageaffairgal.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/how-to-eyeliner-for-all.html
1. Don't apply liquid liner under your eyes
2. Don't apply liner in a hurry, you'll f*ck it. I speak from experience.
3. Don't curl your lashes until your liner is dry or you'll remove it!
4. If you have sensitive eyes, be careful of applying liner on your water line.
5. If using pencil liner on your bottom lids, don't join it up with top lids with a line, just smudge it together.

So, that's all - hope it was helpful and useful, do let me know how you get on in the comments or hit me up with a tweet on @stupidgirl45

Thank you and goodnight,

Stupidgirl has left the building.

1 Apr 2015

The Alternative Approximate A-Z of CBeebies Shows

As per the title. If you're unfamiliar with any of these shows then either you don't have kids, your child is too tiny for TV or you're a Pinterest parent and this will make no sense. Also, this post is tongue in cheek (I can't believe I need to point that out but just in case....) Also, it's not a full A-Z, just an approximation.

A is for.....Abney & Teal. Let's start with a good one, I'll be kind, I love A+T. I especially love the poc-pocs (random name), the illustrations, that the voice of Teal is Shingai Shoniwa from The Noisettes and also that a turnip is a major character.

B is for .....Baby Jake. Er what the what the what? WHAT? I don't understand this show at all. Aside from this being a family with 10 kids who all live in a circular stone tower, those bunny rabbits are terrifying ("scariest since Donnie Darko" according to @bird42) and Baby Jake himself is a very disturbing flexi-jointed incubus. Just so wrong at 7am.

C is for..... Carrie and David's Pop Shop which wins the prestigious title of most annoying kids TV show ever. A survey of 87% of parents say they detest it.* The presenters were last seen on Fame Academy (The Bronze Age in TV years) which tells you all you need to know. Unfortunately Toddler45 loves it. I've considered disowning him.

I is for.....In the Night Garden, clearly written by people on illegal substances  as per all the best kids shows (cf Tellytubbies/Magic Roundabout/The Clangers). Featuring Iggle Piggle unfortunately friend-zoned by Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka who has a farting problem which he blames on his trumpet and the Tombliboos - what they actually are/do is anyone's guess. Storylines include moustaches disappearing, random springs appearing and tiny people living in the woods. It's all unnervingly narrated by Cadfael. 

K is for......Kerwizz. Oh god, shoot me now. This programme is utterly stultifying. The catchphrase "Kerwizz - the quiz with added whizz" is the best thing about it. And that's saying something. Fronted by a guy who uses chip fat as a hair product. Even Toddler45 hates it.

L is for...... Let's Play, in which CBeebies presenters indulge in a spot of cosplay/fantasy dressing up and Little Robots which is actually pretty cute, mainly because Toddler45 calls it `Little W-obots`. 

M is for......Me Too. *sigh* if you are unfortunate enough to be woken at 6am you'll know that this is a programme featuring Balamory's odder relatives. Or that's what I've extrapolated. Most of the time I watch this with the sound off as i find that improves the experience (by watch I mean have my eyelids prised open by Toddler45 "You 'wake mama")/ Mr Bloom - have you been living in a hole? Do you not know that this is the green fingered kids TV presenter that mummy bloggers would most like to have feeling their melons? Or something....

O is for......Old Jack's Boat This series comes with a lot of supercoolness due to being written by a Dr Who writer and featuring Freema Agyeman. But mostly i snigger at the frequent references to the salty sea and Old Jack perving over Freema's mermaid....

R is for.....Rastamouse. I bloody love Rastamouse, especially the theme tune. I wish they'd do a remix of this In fact I probably love this more than Toddler45. 

S is for....Show Me Show Me. I mostly spend this show, and I'm sure some of you do this too, trying to spot Pui's bump, admiring her maternity wear and being impressed with her ability to get out of having to do all that dicking about on the floor show us her groovy moves.

T is for .....Topsy and (Fucking) Tim - smug middle class twins doing boring things. In one episode Topsy's mum was giving her mummy friend devil eyes for landing her in it with the smug twins after revealing she was selling their house. Given the current house prices in South London the twins don't need to rely on TV salaries for an income.

W is for......Waybuloo Actually, I love Waybuloo. it's so soothing and faintly....trippy. With all the floaty characters and actual children talking to themselves. It's supposed to be a kids yoga show, but again definitely substance influenced...! Sends me to sleep every time.

Z is for.....Zingzillas  - a music themed show featuring former musicians down on their luck(members of the Darkness, I'm looking at you ). And some animated puppets.  And a lot of enormous coconuts, which is a lot less exciting than it might sound.

I know, I've skipped a lot of letters. But this was always the approximate alternative A-Z. I think you get the gist!

Thank you and goodnight,

Stupidgirl has left the building

*Totally made up statistic

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