49 articles Articles posted in Photos

A Walk in the Woods.

Knowing Myself (Or ‘Help Me, PLEASE!’)

After yesterdays session at Cybher with Peggy Poyser about revamping your blog for under £50, I’ve started with gusto to try and make my blog exactly what I want it to be. One of Peggy’s tips was to work out exactly what it is your blog should say to other people, then create a colour scheme to compliment it. (That was the general gist, she obviously put it a lot better than that…)

Great, brilliant, a point to start from.

Except, I can’t work out what the hell it is that I’m trying to say or who I even am.

Sure, I guess I could be called a mummy blogger, after all, I am a mummy and I am a blogger. But a pastel colour scheme with cute cartoons over it is so not me. I may not know myself but I do know I’m just not that… insipid. So if I’m not going from the mummy blogger angle, I need to look a bit deeper at what appeals to me.

Animal print.

If there’s one prevailing pattern that I tend to choose for bloody everything, it’s leopard print. I just love it. So a few days ago, Husband created me a banner for my site, complete with leopard print background and funky lettering. I loved it, but Husband made the very good point that ‘Mum’s the Word’ written over a furry leopard print background made my blog look a bit like a landing page for plushophiles (if you don’t know what that is and have to look it up, do so with caution and at a decent distance from children or relatives with a weak heart).

During the session, Peggy showed us a series of swatches of colour and asked us to identify what type of blog each swatch represented. We all got the answers right and Peggy’s point was perfectly made. But I don’t really know what my readers get from coming and reading my random musings? What is it you expect from Mum’s the Word? I’m asking for help here, people! If you have any ideas at all, let me know.  I have a Pinterest board set up for brainstorming and if you see anything that makes you think “Ooh, that’s so Jayne”, be it a colour, pattern, font – anything, tweet me, Email me, link me up on Facebook. Help me make Mum’s the Word a beautiful place to be!

Urban Bluebells

I’ve noticed recently that the area I live in seems to be awash with bluebells, they’re growing everywhere. My own front and back garden seem to be stuffed with them. I always thought bluebells were a rare flower, but we’ve got an epidemic on our hands!

Being the bleeding-heart liberal hippy that I seem to have grown into these days, I don’t tend to look upon them as a weed that needs to be got rid of, rather a welcome splash of colour in this urban sprawl that I call home. I’m kind of the same about urban foxes to be honest…yes, they rip our  bin bags open, but I bet they lived on this land long before we built houses on it.

As it turns out, bluebells are protected by UK law, and I found this snippet of info really interesting:

H. non-scripta is a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Landowners are prohibited from removing common bluebells on their land for sale and it is a criminal offence to remove the bulbs of wild common bluebells. This legislation was strengthened in 1998 under Schedule 8 of the Act making any trade in wild common bluebell bulbs or seeds an offence.

As you may have noticed, I’ve gone a bit collage mad recently (probably after hours of me and Husband trying to get a bad install of Picasa to work on my crappy netbook, I’m getting the most out of it after our effort!) and I made this one of all of the pictures I took of the bluebells along the way when Sausage and I walked to the shops today. I love the way the flowers look alongside concrete, ceramic tiles and bricks, such a juxtaposition of nature and man-made products.

They were only taken with my iPhone 4S, but if you click onto the collage you can zoom in on individual pictures to see them a bit better. Anyway, here it is.

As a side note, Urban Bluebells is the best name for something, if I ever start my own kids clothing label, that’s what I’ll call it!


It’s funny how life goes, isn’t it? You can be cruising along at a comfortable pace and then BAM! Something comes along and changes everything. Only, this life-changing event seems quite apt, it’s happened at a time that’s coincided with other events and I’ve woken up today feeling reborn.

(No, not like a born-again Christian, you should now me better than that by now!)

If you’re reading this, you’ll have cottoned on to the fact that this is my first post on the new URL, which is a rebirth in itself and it’s feeling very good at the moment. New me, new URL!

Today, instead of going to work, I took Sausage to nursery, came home (via the shops where I bought myself some cappuccino for my Tassimo machine!), tinkered with the settings on the blog, caught up on some emails. Then I went to pick Sausage up from nursery, which is something I never used to be able to do and we walked to the swimming pool, doing this along the way:

After swimming, which was fab until a kid pooped in the pool, we came home and had lunch together, something else I don’t get to do with Sausage on a Wednesday. We’ve spent our day singing songs, laughing, having fun and generally feeling free and easy.

It’s not too bad, this unemployment lark!

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday


My First Ever Black Eye

Any of my eagle-eyed Twitter chums may have noticed this on Sunday:

I was secretly hoping it’d turn into a proper shiner, making me look like a female boxer or something, but alas it’s not that dramatic. It also occurred to me that a woman with a black eye raises certain questions, so every time I go anywhere and catch someone looking, I’ve been loudly proclaiming “LOOK WHAT MY KID DID TO ME!” just in case people think I’m a victim of domestic violence.

Anyway, just in case you’re interested in The Life and Times of my Shiner (I’m obsessed with it, I look in the mirror about 50 times a day at the moment), here’s a gallery of its cycle. Weirdly, the one with just a tiny cut is just after it happened and the one with all of the autumnal-shaded bruising is the latest photo, taken today.


Making Family Chores Fun

may have mentioned once or twice (ahem…) that I’m pretty rubbish at housework. In fact, I’ve found no less than four posts on this very blog, with confessions of slovenliness (hereherehere…and here, just in case you’re interested!). However, since I went back to work, I’ve really stepped up on the housework front. I may still have dusty skirting boards and my mother-in-law may have done my washing up for me about half a dozen times in the last few months, but I have been keeping up with the rest of it!

However, the problem with working and maintaining a decent home is that I still have to find time in the middle of all of that to spend time with Sausage. Fortunately, she’s at that age where she loves to help so I’ve started drafting her in to help with simple tasks, which means that we get to spend time together whilst being productive as well as making the whole thing a lot more pleasant for me.

Here are a few examples of how Sausage has been getting involved:

Sausage loves to help me hang the washing on the line. We make up simple games like getting her to shout out who each item belongs to as I hang it, which is simple but it gets her to use her brain while doing a mundane task.

She’ll often help by passing me the pegs or the wet clothes, or sometimes just keeps me smiling by wrapping herself in the sheets and shouting “COME AND FIND MEEEE!”.


Making the beds is a really simple task that Sausage can more or less do by herself, but we have fun doing it together. We flap the duvet around and generally clown about. I’ve come to the conclusion that chores needn’t be done promptly if you’re having fun. The beds will look better in the end and you’ll have enjoyed yourself in the process. Look at Sausage admiring her work in the last picture, pure pride!


As I mentioned before, now I’m back at work I have to be more efficient and Husband helped by devising a system to help us get the laundry away. Before, I’d do the washing, it’d get brought in and dumped in a corner where it would stay until each item got reworn. Now, we have three baskets in different

colours, one for each of us, and the washing gets sorted into the baskets. This makes it a lot easier to put away in the respective wardrobe and this sorting has more or less been taken over by Sausage who loves working out whose item is whose and which basket it needs to go into.


I HATE WASHING UP. Seriously hate it. So does Husband, which is why between us we end up with a backlog of dishes that need doing and a total of ZERO enthusiasm for doing it. That was, until my little helper got involved! Now, I wash, Sausage stands on her chair and put the clean dishes on the draining board. A minor thing, but it gives us a chance to have a chat, sing, listen to music and spend what has turned out to be some really nice time together.

So, that’s how the Mum’s the Word family make their chores a bit more fun! This post is part of the Morphy Richards Innovator linky over on Tots 100.

Silent Sunday


Silent Sunday