Blogging · Health

10% Inspiration, 90% Application…

It’s a funny old thing, writing a blog. I’m not sure if it’s just me or if it’s something that all bloggers go through but I seem to have three zones that I fall into; times when I have plenty to write about and blog often, times when I have no inspiration and blog posts are few and far between and my current zone, which is fairly new and unprecedented, where I have plenty of things to write about and simply not enough OOMPH to get on and do it.

I recently made a document on my phone to write blogging ideas on, possibly as a response to NaBloPoMo (thanks for not mentioning my immense failure on that front, by the way) as I often have ideas for posts which them fall out of my sieve-like skull only to never be remembered again. So I have a list of ideas on me at the moment, there’s about ten things on there, as well as review posts that I need to write, memes I could join in with, a veritable feast of inspiration in front of me but I just can’t seem to do any of it.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been ill on and off for the past month, between a viral, sinus type thingy that just won’t bugger off and my blood-vomiting incident, I’ve not been 100% for a while and I suspect my thyroid levels need testing too as I’m tired an unnatural amount recently.

The thing is, I love my blog. It’s probably the first time I’ve ever had an interest that I’ve invested this much time and effort into in my entire life, so having a page of ideas and no inclination to turn them into content is disconcerting. I want to write but my brain just isn’t letting me. Even this post right here, it’s at just over 300 words at this point and the effort I’m having to put in to actually finish and not just sigh a very loud “UUGHGHG” before clicking ‘Move to Trash’ is huge, it really is. I don’t know what’s the matter with me!

If anyone fancies guest posting for me, I’d love to hear from you. On a base, selfish level it’d be nice to keep the blog ticking over while my brain goes on holiday but I’d also love to host some new and fresh content and zhuzh things up a bit too! If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that most things go on Mum’s the Word and we love anything a bit subversive, so if you have a burning issue you want to shout about, let me know, even if you aren’t a blogger but just want a chance to blog. You never know, you might like it…*

*I don’t mean to sound quite so much like a drug dealer there…

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Christmas · Parenting · Review

Some Ideas for (shhhh!) Christmas…

Okay, okay, I’m sorry to start talking about Chrimbo so early, but I hate to tell you this – it’s not actually that far away now! We’ve started our Christmas shopping already, which is massively early for us, but I know people who have not only finished their shopping but actually got it all wrapped already!

We’ve been sent a few things to review recently, all of which would make fab pressies for the kiddos, especially ones of Sausage’s age, so I thought I’d do a round-up of them all there, just in case you were looking for some ideas for the 4-year-old girl in your life:

Jungle Junction Playsets

A while ago, we reviewed the Jungle Junction Hippo Bus for UKMums.tv and because we loved it so much, as soon as we were asked to review some more Jungle Junction set, we jumped at the chance! We were sent the Taxicrab Boat Play Set and the Race Launcher, both of which we absolutely loved. Both items are really well-built and as with the other Jungle Junction sets, they’re bright, durable, engaging and fun. The Race Launcher is especially good if you have more than one child and we can imagine a whole lot of fun being had on Christmas Day with character races going on!

Moo & Baa

Haba kits are great for so many things, including hand-eye co-ordination, imagination and learning safety, and the Moo and Baa kit is no exception. The farmyard pieces are simply stunning with bright colours and gorgeous illustrations and they have the feel of a really traditional, hard-wearing set about them. Sausage loves being allowed to use the hammer and tacks as it makes her feel really grown up and she also likes to use it to make story scenes.

Minilotta Nici Doll

This doll is intended for use in the bath and comes with a range of accessories  all of which can go in the bath too. I must admit, this particular toy has really invigorated Sausage’s interest in bath-time again and the mitt that goes with it has encouraged her to take more of a hand in bath-time and become more independent, all of which can only be good things. Giving a little girl a plush dolly which can be used in the bath is, quite frankly genius, and giving them one that has changeable outfits is off the scale of brilliant, so I can HIGHLY recommend this to little girls of pretty much any age.

Poppy Cat

We received the Poppy Cat Talking Soft Toy and the set of mini figures, both of which Sausage loves. The mini figures are popular as she loves to take a little toy along with her when we go out in the car and these are so perfectly pocket-sized that she tends to choose one of these every time. At the end of her bed, Sausage has a selection of cuddly toys that she calls her ‘Herd’ and only the best toys get a place in her Herd. The plush talking Poppy Cat was inaugurated into the role of Herd Member almost immediately, which should give you a clue as to how great this toy is!

If your little girl is yearning for anything in particular, I’d love to hear about it, all suggestions for Christmas are gratefully received!

Closer to Nature · Photos

Closer to Nature

This weeks Closer to Nature comes courtesy of a very industrious spider, a beautiful morning dew and the macro setting on my camera, which is my favourite setting to play with. I took a few photos which worked with varying degrees of success but I still couldn’t choose my overall best so I thought I’d show you them all:

If you have any wonderful photos of anything nature related, link up below. There’s badge code that you can grab in the sidebar too.

 

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Personal · Photos · The Gallery

The Gallery – The 80’s

I’ve not joined in with The Gallery for ages, mostly because I’m so rubbish at blogging that I only find out the theme once the linky is almost closed, but as a child of the Eighties, I felt it was my duty to show you some photos and generally give myself the chance to show off just how damn CUTE I was as a child. So here goes…

Me, looking cute in a bouncy chair:

Me, looking cute (but grainy) sitting in a cardboard box with a dog…(yeah, I don’t know either…):

Me again, pulling some fairly obnoxious faces in a photo booth, but still looking cute:

And finally, the pièce de résistance – The cutest photo EVER TAKEN of me:

(I’m even in a caravan – how 80’s is that?!)

If you want to see some fabulously 80’s-tastic hair and fashion, head over to Sticky Fingers where everyone else has linked up.

All About ME! · Health

Living with Psoriasis

I should probably preface this post by saying that although the patches of psoriasis I have are quite severe, I’m lucky enough to have it confined to a small part of my body and by no means suffer to the same degree as other people. 

Have you ever had chicken pox? If you have, you’ll know what it’s like to have a relentless itch that drives you potty and is very hard to control your scratching impulses with. If you suffer with psoriasis, or many other skin conditions, that itch is worse than chicken pox, only it doesn’t go away after 5-7 days, it’s there all the time and is exacerbated by any number of internal and external factors. 

I have psoriasis. It’s only on my feet and hands and occasionally my knees, but it really makes me miserable at times. If you’re squeamish, don’t read this next sentence – on more than one occasion, I’ve been absent-mindedly scratching my feet, only to look down and realise that my hand and foot are covered in blood. It’s difficult to explain to a person who’s never had it how strong that compulsion to scratch can be, how it’s possible to remove skin and go down to the flesh below, but trust me, it’s overpowering at times. 

I’ve only has psoriasis for a few months – I have a family member who’s suffered all of her life more or less and I used to nag her. I’d say “you mustn’t use that brand of showergel!” or badger her into going to the doctors to see if there was a new cream or unguent he could give her to bring some relief and I could never understand her reluctance. Until now. See, with psoriasis, it’s never going to completely go away. You use the creams religiously but the only thing that’s really effective is strong steroids, which means that you can only use them for a limited amount of time before you need to give your body a break, so you use them, get rid of the patches, stop using the cream and it comes right back. It seems so utterly futile and I now completely understand my relative’s attitude, which I had thought was defiance but is actually just slightly sad resignation.

There are lots of types of psoriasis with lots of different causes which Wikipedia defines as such:

Psoriasis (play /səˈr.əsɨs/) is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin. It occurs when the immune system mistakes the skin cells as a pathogen, and sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis is not contagious.

In the summer, I spent a lot of time in flip-flops (as you do) and I did notice people checking out the patches of flaky skin. I mean, I get it, it’s not nice to look at but at the same time it’s not nice to have to cover up when it’s hot so I realised I was just going to have to put up with people’s looks. I can’t imagine what those looks must be like if the patches are all over your body, not just on your feet. People don’t think of a skin condition as being something serious, but in terms of how it makes you feel, even a minor case can have an impact on your mental state.

I spent summer looking at magazine covers proclaiming “GET SUMMER FEET IN FIVE EASY STEPS!” and I wondered on many an occasion if they had a section for me which involved chopping mine off and transplanting them with someone elses, someone’s who don’t crack, itch and bleed daily.

I suppose the reason I’m telling you all this is that I want you to know that if you see someone with psoriasis, yes, it probably does make them miserable, yes it probably itches like hell and yes, they can see you staring. Most importantly, NO, it’s not catching.

And as a lovely little book-end to the post, here’s a picture of my feet ON A GOOD DAY (notice areas of scab where I’ve scratched the layers of skin completely off) Nice, huh?

(Sausage just saw me uploading this picture and gagged. Actually, physically gagged.)