Mum’s the Word Gives Their Verdict on Moxie Girlz

Anyone who read this post, which I wrote very early on in the life of my blog, will know that I’m not a fan of Barbie. I think the shape of the dolly gives girls an unrealistic idea of perfection and I think that on the whole, Barbie is represented as vapid, unintelligent and overtly feminine. I know there are plenty of girlie girls out there, but what about the tomboys amongst us?

Sausage is on a Barbie-ban, we don’t allow any of the insipid pink crap in our house, but there comes a time in every little girls’ life when all she wants is a doll that she can dress up. Just recently, we were asked to review Moxie Girlz, a new dolly on the block which represents a whole new ethos for little girls. The Moxie Girlz message is:

“Every girl has the strength to do something amazing.
Anything is possible as long as you stay true to yourself
& never give up your dreams!”

Okay, so far so good, an improvement on “oooh, let’s go shopping and have a sleepover!” (Because that’s obviously all females want to do…).

The doll we were sent was Sophina (Amazon – £13.99), who’s part of the Moxie Girlz Horse Riding Club. She’s a pretty doll with nice hair and a huge head! One thing I was a little unsure about was the fact that she’s wearing a very short skirt, but she is wearing leggings underneath and riding boots.

The Moxie Girlz dolls seem well made and the clothes seem to be of a good quality. I was quite happy to see that Sophina wasn’t endowed (or burdened) with an enormous bosom or legs of an unrealistically long proportion. All in all, the Moxie Girlz seem to be geared towards a much more positive message regarding self-image, which is a great thing in this day and age.

Sophina is part of the Moxie Girls Horse Riding Club, which means that there are various complementary items which can be bought to go with her such as, obviously, a horse. Of course, I’d love to see ‘Rocket Scientist Avery’ or ‘Brain Surgeon Lexa’, but I also concede that little girls do like to just be little girls now and again and just indulge themselves with a little bit of hair doing or pretending to be a princess and for those occasions, Moxie Girlz really do seem to be the best way to go.

Sausage, as expected, is utterly mental about her Moxie Girl and is *hoping* that Santa will bring her Sophina’s horse, Cricket. We’ll just have to see about that one, won’t we!

Sophina, in a different outfit. Pretty wholesome, wouldn't you say?

The Best Card Ever…

Husband and Sausage love to draw together and I’m often presented with a card that she’s commissioned her Daddy to draw for me. I just got handed one and I think it’s my favourite yet:

Good to know, right? Just to add to the overall effect and presumably just in case I didn’t know what a stinky bum was, here’s the inside:

I wonder if Hallmark are looking for any new designs? ‘Cause this one is genius!

Anger · Rant

Enough is enough.

Excuse the dry skin, it’s still healing

Let me start this blog post by saying that I consider myself to be a charitable person. When I was a kid, I went door-to-door selling raffle tickets for Meningitis Trust, as an adult I’ve organised events for Lupus UK, I spent a whole year giving up my Saturdays to work in a Child Contact Centre and back in May I ran Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research. A few weeks ago, I even went and had a black ribbon tattooed on my leg for melanoma at an event organised by one of Husband’s good friends where the proceeds of every tattoo was donated to cancer charities.

But today, I can unequivocally say that I’ve had a gut-full of charity. Whilst walking up the high street to do the banking for my boss, one of those obnoxious charity collectors (who get PAID to fund raise…can you explain the logic of that to me?) stepped towards me and starting shouting her script at me, telling me that it was my responsibility to end poverty in Africa. On account of the fact that a) I didn’t have time to stop and b) I have a moral objection to that type of fundraising, I politely told her that I didn’t have time to stop and carried on walking while she stood behind me muttering.

On the way back down the high street after I had run my errands and much to my complete and utter incredulity, the very same chugger (as I’m reliably informed they’re called) tried to stop me again, this time by physically blocking my path. I told her that she’d already tried to stop me and that I STILL didn’t have the time to stop, only for her to make facetious comments about me as I walked away. Now, is it just me, or does that seem a little bit out of line?

This evening, we had Husband’s father and his wife over for dinner as she’s American and we wanted to give her a nice Thanksgiving dinner and just as they were leaving the telephone rang. I answered and a man introduced himself as a caller from Cancer Research. He thanked me for my money-raising efforts for Race for Life and asked me if I’d had a nice day. Next, he asked why I’d chosen to do it and I explained about Lorraine and how she’d recently lost her fight. He expressed sympathy and proceeded with his spiel, offering me the chance to give £8 a month directly from my bank account. I explained that I couldn’t afford to add to my monthly outgoings this close to Christmas, but said that if he was able to phone back in January that I may be able to contribute. He barreled on (I must add, totally ignoring the fact that I was crying on the other end of the phone, after he decided to tell me about the wonderful new treatments for extending the lives of cancer patients) pushing me to sign up. At this point, Husband had had enough of seeing me upset and told me to put the phone down, so I interrupted the bloke for the third time and told him that I needed to hang up.

As I’ve gone to great lengths to stress, I consider myself to be a charitable soul, giving not just money but also as much time and effort as I can spare too and yet I got off of the telephone this evening feeling as though I’d been completely wrung out by this charity worker. I don’t know if it’s the policy of Cancer Research to treat people this way, and I’d never speak ill of a charity which has done so much, but I really feel that these aggressive methods of fundraising are a step too far. I feel as though I’ve been harangued in my own home, chased up and down the high street and generally treated like shit.

I won’t say that this has put me off of donating to charity, I’ll always give where I can. But I hope someone, somewhere, will read this post and maybe think about the way that they approach people. I don’t deserve to be made to feel guilty and reminded of personal grief. I’m a good person and this isn’t the way to make me part with my cash.


Tarberts Meats Review – Mr. Mum’s the Word SPEAKS!

I’m so very excited to have for you a review, done by my gorgeous Husband, of some meat that we were sent by Tarberts Fine Foods, so without further ado here’s what he thought:

I’m a carnivore. There, I said it. I’m one of the people that militant vegetarians dislike. I love meat.

I love vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and all that other stuff that’s good for me too, but deep, deep down I like nothing more than tucking into a thick sandwich, full of roast beef and horseradish sauce and washing it down with a glass of beer (or the odd splash of wine if I’m feeling cosmopolitan).

With that in mind, you can imagine my response when my wife approached me and asked me to trough my way through a hamper of quality cold-cuts, take notes, and wax lyrical about the process!

The cold-cuts in question were provided by Tarbert Fine Foods, and we were very pleased to receive a nice selection, including topside of beef, butter basted chicken, heather honey ham and (the wee one’s favourite) ham with Arran mustard, with a mind to offering an informed opinion in the run-up to Christmas.

The first part was easy. The eating.

I happily sat, and with the help of my beautiful assistant (my daughter) munched my way through sandwiches, rolls, baps, bagels, salads and even a nice omelette. The quality of the produce was universally excellent. All the meat that Tarbert’s sell comes from specially selected Scottish sources and, well, it shows.

But once we had completed the fun part I began to agonise – how do you review meat?

I didn’t want to chuck a lot of garbled clichés onto my lovely wife’s blog, and hope that it passed for writing. So I decided that the only way to give you a fair, accurate representation of the produce would be for me to ask my lovely, precocious and delightfully blunt daughter to give me her opinions, and here they are!

Daughter – “It was yummy! Can I have some more, please?!”

Me – “All of it? Was it all yummy? Come on, be scientific!”

Daughter – “Can I have some more please, Daddy?”

Me – “No. You’ll go pop!”

Daughter – “But Ponyo eats lots of ham and she’s magic!”

Me – “Yes, but..erm…it’s, she’s..”

And at that point I gave up, slapped myself on the forehead and shelved the idea in favour of being honest and less lazy.

The meat tasted like it was freshly carved, and when you’re used to grabbing a Dairy Lea Dunker and a soggy sandwich full of ‘wafer thin ham’ on your down time you notice things like that.

The heather honey ham made a fantastic meal, served with nothing more than a couple of fried eggs and a plain green salad, and it was something that even I, the worst chef in the world, could knock together in a trice.

The cuts of beef were superb too. They weren’t dry, but moist and succulent and went down a treat with some English mustard (or a dollop of ketchup in the wee one’s case).

But then, all of it was fantastic. It’s high quality, fresh tasting food that is directly comparable to something you’d buy from your local quality butcher or deli counter, and the fact that it’s pre-packed means you can rely on it lasting a while.

In all honesty my ‘review’ could have been one sentence:

“It’s good, old fashioned, nice tasting meat and I recommend you go out, buy some and eat it at once.”

Wouldn’t that have been better?

Parenting · Personal

The Mummy Quiz

The other day, a blog post by Karin over at Cafe Bebe popped into my inbox where she had completed ‘The Mummy Quiz’ and inviting the rest of us to get involved, so I thought I’d give my answers too. Here it is:

Before my child can fall asleep I have to…

Give her snuggles! Even at almost three and a half, Sausage still goes to sleep on the sofa with Husband and I and she tends to alternate between the two of our laps. It’s one of our favourite times of day as a family and I hope it continues until she’s far too big to be falling asleep on our laps!

One thing I do that makes my child laugh is…

Nerps. Yes, you read that right, I said nerps. How do I explain this one? Well, basically it’s tickling but every time I tickle her I say ‘nerp’  in a funny voice. It’s evolved too as now I sometimes tickle her in time with a song or jingle, for example; have you seen the Moxie Girlz advert? We use that one “Nerp nerp neeerrp, nerpy nerp nerp nerp nerp”. Oh and recently she watched Madagascar, so now we do “I like to nerp it, nerp it. I like to nerp it, nerp it.” I know, it sounds mental, but it has Sausage in hysterics!

One thing my child does that makes me laugh is…

Oh gosh, EVERYTHING! My child has some serious comedy chops, she seems to know when she’s being hilarious. She comes out with some priceless little sayings, not all of them entirely appropriate, like the other day when she walked into Husband’s Aunties’ house, stood in the middle of the lounge and shouted “BITE MY SHINY METAL ASS!”. (Thanks for that one, Futurama.)

I’m more lenient than I thought I would be about…

Erm, I don’t know if I am more lenient than I thought I would be about things, in fact I think I’m surprised every time I managed to stick to my guns and be strict with her. I come from a long line of softies (Yes, Mum and Nan, that means you) and Husband and I are pretty chilled out with Sausage because she’s usually so well-behaved that we don’t ever need to be tough with her, but I can be when I need to be. There have been times when she’s ignored warnings and been put to bed for being naughty and even though she’s sitting in her room crying and I feel like my heart is ripping in two, I manage to see it through.

One of the most ridiculous things I’ve said as a parent is…

I don’t know if I’ve said ridiculous things as a parent, I think the majority of the ridiculous things that I said were during my pregnancy. I think most new parents have this long list of ideals that they thing they’re going to stick to stringently and then as soon as the baby comes along, they realise that babies don’t stick to plans or schedules and they start to become more flexible. In fact, I have to say, I think the new parents who really have a hard time and have the darkest bags under their eyes are the ones who don’t catch onto this and adapt accordingly.

The best rule in our house is…

Love. We’re a very close and loving little family and we ALWAYS tell each other we love one another. Snuggles take priority over everything and we always take the time to be affectionate and kind. I tell Husband and Sausage I love them about a hundred times a day and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Sometimes I wish I could snap my fingers and make my child…

That’s a very difficult one as I think she’s perfect! She has her stubborn streak, but hey, so do I and I think being strong-willed shows great character. I know it’s a cliché to say that I think she’s perfect but honestly, she sleeps well, eats well, is just as happy to occupy herself as she is to play with others, all in all she’s a really content and well-behaved child…who’d risk changing that?!

So, that’s The Mummy Quiz’! Why not have a go yourself or head over to Cafe Bebe to read where it all began!