I'm a Mother not a Martyr…

I adore the internet. It makes a massive world very much smaller. It has reacquainted me with old school and college friends. Introduced me to new friends and kept me in touch with close friends when the ties of motherhood may have otherwise severed those bonds.

I cherish each of those relationships, and am glad that I live in modern times.

And it’s these friendships that have encouraged me to make a go of my Pootles Papercraft new baby, and introduced me to some wonderful crafting artisans who are a long way down the road that I’m just stepping onto.

I call Pootles my baby because it is. I’ve loved and nurtured each product and like my own sons, would find it impossible to choose a favourite.

Like my children, if anyone criticised my creation, I’d be upset, however that would be where the similarities ended.

I’d take on the mantle of Mummy Tiger and tear strips off anyone who criticised my child, but I wouldn’t if someone decided they didn’t like something I’d made.

There is a reason for this post, I’m getting there….

Because I move in lots of different Internet circles, beauty, motherhood, craft etc, I sometimes stumble across things that cross the various divides.

It’s the classic follow a link which leads to another and another and another.

Last night I was watching YouTube videos on soap making. (Did you realise just how much work goes into making soaps? Wow, these people are seriously talented!)

Anyway, one link led to another and I started reading comments. I was shocked to see a viewer make a comment regarding the price of the soaps and the response from the YouTuber was to call her an Evil Bitch!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about loving your product and totally get how passionate crafters are about their products, but one wonders if the soap maker ought to distance themselves a little more?

I have yet to see the supplier of Asda bolognese sauce start calling individuals names, and damn, they’re getting a hell of a lot of criticism right now!

So this post it not about the soap maker, but more as a reminder to myself that while my paper products are my babies, there is a time when I’ll maybe have to come up against criticism and have to bite my lip.

Mummy Tiger to my children, but dignified head on for crafts.

Love to you all, your children and your creations.  Xx

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Wonderful imaginations

I would love to go back to childhood, to see the world differently amd experience life again as one long play date.

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To me, this picture shows 3 children in washing baskets on a mess of fleece blankets.

They are however in individual rowing boats on the sea!

Small items, massive imagination!

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Well, I set myself the challenge last week to have the dotcom shop open by February 1st, and I’ve just about done it!

Pootles Papercraft!

Building the shop wasn’t hard, though I could possibly have tinkered it to death if I’d been left any longer…

It was taking and uploading photos and trying to get coordinating products made in time that took my so long (and some very late nights!)

I haven’t managed to get all the coordinated products completed, but I shall relax and enjoy making them at my leisure (probably tonight knowing me!)

I would love it if you would take a look, maybe leave a message on the guest book!

I’ve opened a new Facebook page too http://www.facebook.com/pootlespapercraft

So, wish me luck and as my friend Lovely says, Pinch Punch first Pootle of the month!

S xx

HOW MUCH!!!

According to sky, research has shown that it now costs £222,000 to raise a child to the age of 21.

http://news.sky.com/story/1042120/cost-of-raising-a-child-soars-to-222000

In that case, it would cost my husband (and a little from me!) around a million pounds to raise our 4 sons.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it is expensive having children. We haven’t had a foreign holiday in years. We don’t go on nights out, and we do spend time with family as a way of socialising.

However, I’m a self confessed frugal queen and well known for planning ahead.

It was expensive when we were preparing for Jack, our eldest, but family assisted by buying cot, pram etc and though I did choose the pricier end of the market, it was deliberate. And all 4 boys have used the same equipment.

And while these days you’re less likely to find me buying clothes for the youngest 2 from next or mamas and papas, the clothes I bought from there over the years are still going strong and are handed down from brother to brother.

In fact my 3 youngest were all wearing hand me down pyjamas last night!

In recent years though, I have discovered that George at Asda does a good range of ‘scrapping about the house’ clothes. The older 2 are more likely to wear out their clothes before they grow out of them.

And uniform basics (trousers/socks) are good from there too. I have tall but slim children, and haven’t found anywhere else that stocks trousers with adjustable waistbands.

It’s not just clothes that are expensive though. Food costs are rising anyway, without the appetites of my family taken into consideration.

For years now, I’ve shopped on a monthly basis for the bulk of our food.

It does mean some hefty planning of meals, but it does mean a smaller food bill each month.

I don’t buy sweets, snacks and treats on a weekly basis which I know would add a lot to our bill.

I also buy the cheap budget range for those kinds of things.

The children don’t care if they get Tyrrells crisps or Asda own brand. They just want a bag of crisps! And they know that when it’s gone from the cupboard its gone and won’t be restocked til the next month (aren’t I mean!)

And there is nothing wrong with buying a tin of own brand corned beef instead of prince’s posh stuff!

We have our milk delivered and I always have eggs, flour etc in the house and it’s amazing what you can make from nothing if it gets to the end of the month and I’ve lost my inspiration!

And other than stocking up on fresh veg, most of our food comes on the monthly food order, costing around £450 for 6 of us (and yes, that includes nappies and loo roll!)

Okay so it will be some years until we get on an aeroplane for our holiday, but in fact, would you take 4 children on a plane, 1 of whom is a toddler and 1 of whom is a 4 year old? No, me neither.

So while I don’t doubt that it will cost a phenomenal amount of money to raise our family, hopefully it won’t be at the £1 million mark…

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What person dreamed up putting runny fondant cream inside a thick chocolate shell?

Fondant – good

Chocolate – good

Combination – bad!

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The fondant is too sweet and too liquid and the chocolate is too hard so you end up with a lump of chocolate breaking off and a sticky, over sweet, goey mess comes out.

Yuck.

Give me a Cadbury’s Mini Egg any day rather than the abomination of a combination that is Cream Egg!

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Do you like cream eggs?

(Pics c/o Google images – I’m not going to waste money on a yucky creme egg and the dukan diet doesn’t approve of mini eggs…)

Okay, so I’m a month after Christmas, but having just gone to Amazon and spotted a book they’d recommended, I’ve been prompted to write this.

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I bought a Jane Green book called The Holiday back in November. As I started to read, I became more and more convinced that I’d previously read the book.

I hadn’t recognised the cover at all, or the the title, and upon reading the publishing details, realised it was a rerelease of a book from a few years back, with an up to date cover.

So yes, I had already read the book!

That really annoyed me, but today on Amazon I spotted the original as a recommendation based on the previous purchase of The Holiday. (Oh the irony!)

However what pushed me over the limit was that I instantly recognised the cover and title – This Christmas.

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So apart from the new book having no info on the sale page stating that it’s a rerelease, having a totally different name and cover and the old edition having no product details at all (including a synopsis) had successfully been duped into thinking I was buying an unread book.

Cheesed off? Yes

Not good publishers of Jane Green books, not good.

Is it fair that the publishers can do this without making it obvious that it’s a rerelease?

Duplo versus Mega Bloks

I don’t know about you, but it feels like Lego and it’s variant siblings have been in my life forever.

I certainly remember having lego sets (a hair salon!) as a child, and my sons play with a train set that used to belong to one of my brothers circa 1975…

But as a mother, we’ve had mega bloks in the house for our sons from a young age.

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It wasn’t a deliberate choice, from memory the huge bag came new from a car boot sale.

It’s nice enough stuff. You can do little more than make towers or walls. You can’t exactly construct scenes or create characters. You’d need tons of the stuff for that, and they’d end up being life size!

And while it’s okay for pre school hands, it doesn’t snap together like lego does and is rather unstable.  Small toddler hands are too small for it too.

Previously we’ve never had duplo, which is halfway between lego and mega bloks, but Chris’s sister bought Oliver an animal set for Christmas this year and it’s possibly the biggest hit this year!

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It’s basically a larger lego that snaps together in the same way, has shaped pieces for creating characters, is a better size for a toddler and is nicer in colour.

So while previously we may have been collecting the bag of mega bloks from the loft about now for Oliver, instead I shall be investing in more duplo instead.

A far better buy in my opinion.

(Images c/o Google because I’m not going to go rummaging through the loft to snap a pic of our mega bloks and Oliver won’t unhand the duplo long enough for me to photograph)