Wednesday, 28 December 2011

My name is...

Tabitha has starting to call me Sarah.

I am sure it is a phase and is mainly due to her resently being around the staff at work who all (obviously) call me by my name.

I am trying to combat it by not answering when she calls me by it, and responding with 'I am Mummy' then addressing her request.

However I have to say its horrible to hear her say it over Mummy and she has also started shortening that to Mum which is not sitting well with me either. Don't get me wrong I am not a fan of children calling their mothers 'Mummy' beyond a certain age, and as an adult its just too sickly sweet but Tabitha is 2 years old.

It has reminded me that I used to have a friend whose children called her by her first name at her request, it never really occured to me to think it odd, but it is don't you think?

Sunday, 18 December 2011

The box is always better than the gift.

I think we have learned a valuable lesson this year. Tabithas birthday is in late Novemeber in great excitement we brought and requested all the things we thought she would love, and she does. A dolls house, an art easel with enough paints and chalks to sink a ship, playdough sets to rival any nursery school, she got it all.

The problem we have found is now, at christmas barely four weeks later we need to do it all again. Our imaginations are exhausted and our flat is bursting at the seams. She does not need anything else right now and I am not sure where we would put it if she did.

Never the less we have purchased a pile of presents for her to open on Christmas day and she will drag them all back from her grandparents after the holidays for us to find 'somewhere' for them to go....

Do I sound like a grinch? I don't mean to. I just think next year we will pace ourselves with her birthday and remember a bit more clearly that four weeks later we need to do it all over again.

Friday, 9 December 2011

I need me a Blogger Calender.

In order to get my mitts on a Blogger Calender full of shots taken from Cybermummy 2011 I need to write a little blog CV for Tara and Jay.

I hate all photos of myself and eventually I will need to get my hands on all copies to burn them, so winning one would be a start.....

Mumra Blog CV

Name: Mumra

Origins of Mumra: Fear of going braindead while on maternity leave led me to create my parenting blog. I originally wanted to help other parents with my knowledge as a nursery manager in my real life, however I quickly realised it was much more fun to talk rubbish and review stuff.

Twitter: I tweet as @mumrablog, I used to tweet a lot now I work full time not so much.

My mission statement: To stay a true Stepford Reject and Hold Onto My Cool With Both Hands.

Now give me that calender. Only 99 more to go....

The Gallery - My awesome photo.

This weeks The Gallery theme is for a prize and I am very keen to win it!

Tara is giving the winning blogger the chance to win a giant photo canvas of their shot and I am desperate to have this photo up in my house.

Every time I look at it am filled with pride and humbled by how lucky I am to have two such amazing people in my life.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Mumra Playlists - Christmas Special.

I have decided Mumra Playlists deserved another outing. It is a one off Christmas Special and I really hope you all join in...

The theme is : CHRISTMAS 


Every Christmas during my childhood we without fail would gather to watch the Only Fools and Horses Christmas special. Still today the theme tune always gives me a fuzzy contented feeling, knowing that for the next 30 minutes nothing else really matters...

So what reminds you of your childhood Christmas or gets you feeling festive? 

Is it a song, an advert or a tv show? 

Simply write a post and link it up below.

Tabitha-Lo takes in London.

Recently it was my Dads 70th birthday and for a surprise I arranged for one of my blogging perks to be a treat for him. I knew he had always wanted to go on the London Eye and thanks to we had the chance to take the whole family on.

I wasn't sure it would be a good idea with a toddler to be honest and I thought my mother (who famously tried to bribe a fairground owner to do the rides slowly while her children went on...) would possibly have a bit of a panic attack half way round.

However I have to say we had a really good time. Tabitha loved it and the pods are large enough to not feel squashed in, giving space to move about freely. The motion of the wheel is so smooth that you hardly feel that you are moving so my mother ( and me if I am honest ) coped without brown paper bags and deep breathing.

Check out the deals at for deal on London Hotels and great discounts when you visit London.

The Green Giant comes to Manchester.

Click Colin to visit Green Giant Facebook page.

A little update on the promotion by The Green Giant. The big man himself came to Manchester on the 29th and 30th October to encourage families to get their 5-a-day. The event was a huge success and during the day 193 families gave the Giant a High-5!

Colin Jackson was also there meeting the audience, High 5-ing the Giant and hurdling a Giant sweet corn! (see photo above, which keeps on cracking me up. I am not sure why...)

The winner to the competition has now been selected and will soon be informed!!!

This is a sponsored post.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Glossy Box Review

I was approached by Glossy Box to review one of their monthly boxes back in September and I  figured it sounded like a good concept so agreed to sample the September box and give a review on the site.

My first beauty product review and I was quite excited, I even commented on Twitter about it using the hashtag #glossybox. Immediately I got pretty much attacked by beauty bloggers demanding to know 'who I was' and generally being green with envy that they had not be selected to do the review. I was even more excited, clearly this was going to change my life.

The concept is a nice one, you subscribe monthly to the delivery of one box per month. In each box is about 5 products some full size, most trial/sample size of 'mojor' brands for you to try out and the idea being re buy the ones you like. I thought a years subscription would be a great present for someone to receive, meaning a monthly gift all year.

When the first box arrived I was over the moon, it smelt divine and the packaging is top class. A beautiful pink box with black paper and pale pink ribbon bundling the contents together. 

The products in my first box were good, an HD Brow set, some perfume samples, a few Salt Scrub sachets and a full size tube of Neal and Wolf conditioner. I gave to brow set to my mum, the samples I chucked in the cupboard and the conditioner turned my hair into silk and got me compliments daily until it ran out.

I did however notice much unhappiness on Twitter. Many of the HD Brow set had arrived smashed to pieces or un packaged and people were not happy! 
I have emailed the PR company to see what happened to those complaints and received this reply:

''Every single subscriber that contacted us with a photo of their damaged HD Brows got a replacement sent to them. We then sent out an email to all subscribers to contact us if they received a damaged product so we could replace it - in case they were not aware that we were offering replacements.''

I also raised the issue of the boxes random nature, I noticed many complaints of 17 year old girls getting anti aging products etc and it was not just me who felt a little peeved when we read of other peoples boxes containing in our opinion better items. The PR company did respond on those issues so I have included the reply below:

''Although we believe that the real value of GLOSSYBOX is within the experience of finding out about new brands and products, we are confident that it is very good value for money.

Our brand team work hard to make the quality, price and size of the box equal throughout all of them. We try to customise our boxes to the best of our abilities and are still learning every month on how to do better. Some customers may have received unsuitable items in the past and we are aware of this and promise to improve in the future. 

Sometimes, there will be a difference in value of products sent to subscribers in terms of retail price. However, while GLOSSYBOX on the whole always offers fantastic value for money, that is not the point of the concept. On the whole, the idea behind GLOSSYBOX is that we help women discover products they may not have known about or considered if they had not been featured in our box. This means that on and off, you will receive a product that you would never have bought. Often, women will complain to us about receiving a fake tan because they never work on their pale skin or don't think nail wraps are suitable for them. The fun part for us is then hearing back a week later from the same women with a message about how many compliments they have been receiving after using the fake tan we sent them! We have heard back from women saying that it was the first fake tan they ever used that looked natural on their skintone and made them look younger and more rested. We heard back from mothers who initially thought that nail wraps are only for young girls into very fashion-forward products and after trying the nail wraps, many of these busy mothers realise this is an amazing way to look groomed and have smudge and chip free nails! This is what we endeavour to achieve at GLOSSYBOX. ''

I get their point but I have to say I felt seriously let down by the second box I received in November. There was nothing in it I would use at all and if I was paying for that I would be very annoyed.

However the pink boxes are very cute and are now being used as hair clip storage in Tabithas room so every cloud etc....

Check out the site GLOSSYBOX if this sounds like your kind of thing.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Gallery - Something I am proud of...

This week the theme of The Gallery is 'Something I am proud of'.

Yes, really.... I have chosen, Me.

I am of course as any parent, proudest of my daughter but that seemed too easy so here we go....

I am proud of myself. (I feel a bit like I am at AA saying that out loud.)

I am proud of my mothering skills.
I am proud of my ability to smile during chaos.
I am proud of the patience I show when other people act like arseholes.
I am proud of my career, of holding it down while being a mother to a toddler.
I am proud of my history. The tough decisions I have made; of my ability to get through seemingly impossible times.
I am proud of myself.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Feather and Black Kids Range.

One of my favourite perks from blogging is being part of a parent panel for major brands. I was approached by Feather and Black to join theirs and jumped at the chance.

I am familiar with them already, a while ago they took over a company local to my home town, The Iron Bed Company; both brands are ones I have purchased previously.

My bed that I have owned since I was 19 is an Iron Bed Company bed and it is still going strong to this day.

All the parent panel bloggers were invited down to the Fulham Road store to meet with Adam Black and his team to discuss the childrens range. It was a great chance to browse the products up close and meet the people who work hard to meet all the needs of us demanding parents buying children furniture. It was clear to see that all the team are passionate about design, service and quality.

I also found it very refreshing to see that the parent panel venture is not just a way to build links to their site and increase their SEO, they really wanted to hear our feedback about buying furniture for our children and what we expect from their service in return.

We were all offered to chose an item from a selection to review and I chose the Noah Toybox as Tabitha is at the age where her room goes from perfect order to mayhem in seconds.

The delivery was faultless, it arrived spotless and most surprisingly no packaging. No boxes to bin that was all taken care of by the delivery men. They just put it down in her room and we were ready to go!

My favourite feature is the pistons that control the lid so no smashing down onto tiny fingers, and making it easy to lift and remain up while she rummages about for her favourite toy.

I do however have one warning for you about Feather and Black. Do not go into that store thinking you will walk out with the same bank balance, even when things are being given away.

Tabitha now has the Noah Bed accompanied by a superb mattress to match her Toybox.

The Noah Toybox was given to me by Feather and Black for the purpose of the review. The Noah Bed I purchased because I am easy led when confronted with beautiful things.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Gallery - 11.11.11.

This week on Sticky Fingers the subject is 11.11.11.

A record of how we all spent our day.

Since starting nursery Tabitha-Lo has managed to pick up every bug or virus doing the rounds. Friday 11.11.11 was no different, we were at home with a nice tummy bug.

This shot was the result of her hurting her hand on the remote control and refusing to let me look at it. Quite cute though.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Meet the Jolly Green Giant!

At the Trafford Center, Manchester on Saturday 29th October you can go along and meet the man himself.

Well kind of.......

You can get to interact with a virtual Green Giant and get to meet olympic and commonwealth superstar Colin Jackson CBE. He has teamed up with the legendary Green Giant to get families aiming high in the North West this half-term.

There will be lots of great giveaways too, so if your local get down to the event and prove to the Green Giant just how healthy you and your family are.

As I said in the previous post there are lots of tip and advice on the Green Giant Facebook, so pop over and 'like' the page to follow all the up coming events.

Don't forget visit my previous post and comment leaving your tips to be in with a chance of winning a Able and Cole hamper for your family.

This is a sponsored post.

The Gallery - Faces.

I love this face. Since I took this photo nearly two years ago now Tabitha has changed so much, she is I think barely recognisable from this picture. She is now a chubby faced two year old with a fully formed personality and cheekiness to match.

When I took this picture I was in total awe of her, she was such a facially well structured baby (does that make sense?). I thought I would have a chubby squishy faced cherub and Tabitha was born with a proper little face, I was I admit, quite shocked by it. She had stolen my nose clean off my face and was lifted from my stomach eyes wide open and clinging to the doctors hand like a monkey, I didn't expect that.

Everytime I look at her face I wonder what she will look like at 8, 15, and 21.

She is my ultimate work in progress and I love that.

Check out the other entries to The Gallery at Sticky Fingers.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Tabitha the little witch!

I am not the biggest fan of Halloween, in the village I grew up in it generally meant people threw eggs at each other so I tended to give it a miss.

However this year Tabitha has a party at nursery and I figured I had better at least get her involved. I was over the moon when Poundland approached me with the offer of a voucher to deck her out in their range for her party.

I used the Poundland branch search on the website, found my nearest store and headed down there.

The range was huge and after standing for ages unable to choose which one to go for I realised with my £10 voucher I could afford to buy quite a few!

Tabitha is going to take her pick on the day and we will take in the other outfits incase any busy nursery Mums have forgotten.

Thanks Poundland for making our Halloween so much fun and not breaking the bank.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Do your children eat their greens?

I have been blessed with a 'good eater' Tabitha loves her food she always has, except for the first three weeks of breastfeeding actually but thats a whole other blog post. She will eat every last scrap on her plate then ask for more and loves vegetables and fruit with a passion.

Over the years working in childcare I have however come up against many children who aren't, and many parents who are desperate to get their children eating healthier food.

I have come up with several techniques and tools for parents in my time.

One we made for all our children was a  5 a day tracker; a laminated picture of a plate with 5 white circles on it. Along with the plate each child was given a set of laminated fruit and vegetable images which they could stick into the plate after they had eaten each daily portion, we left it to the parents to decide the reward scheme that ran alongside it.

This post is a chance for parents to share their own ideas when meeting the challenge of ensuring our children get their 5 a day, do you hide the vegetables? Do you have mealtimes battles everyday?

The challenge of raising children who hopefully grow up understanding the importance of having fruit and vegetables in their diet, and having them enjoy the flavours and diversity of a healthy diet is one most parents will agree on.

Even if we pop to the kebab house occasionally, Ssssssh.

For your chance to win an Abel & Cole vegetable box , write your best tips/hints/advice in the blogger comment box before the  14/11/2011. Entrants must be over 18 and residents of the UK or ROI - Prize is one Abel & Cole vegetable box (no cash alternative) -There will be 1 winner. The winning post will be decided based on the following criteria: uniqueness/creativity/originality. By entering the competition, you agree that your hint/tip may be shared on Green Giant’s Facebook page and used by Green Giant in any other media.  

Click the image below to visit Green Giants Facebook page for more tints and tips.

This is a sponsored post.

Silent Sunday

Friday, 21 October 2011

Tabitha-Lo has new friends.

Its been quiet on Mumra recently, I'll admit it. I have been working hard and Tabitha has been busy as well.

Nursery is now a huge part of her life and she is frankly a bit gutted when the weekend comes and she doesn't get to see her friends or the staff.

I am so happy to see her so engaged by the girls who look after her on a daily basis and the way she talks of them with such affection it makes going to work everyday almost worthwhile on its own.

Tabithas reaction to nursery has made me realise the flipside of working as a nursery nurse for so many years and I hope that other parents have felt the same way about my care of their children over the years. I feel really strongly that Tabitha will be a more rounded individual for her developing relationships with her peers and her teachers, there is no doubt in my mind that she is learning more from their daily interactions than I could have offered her as a stay at home mum.

I know lots of mums will read this and think what a shame I feel that way; seeing these comments as some kind of confession that I think I am a crap mum. It is not the case, I rock as a mum but I cannot fault the love the staff show for my daughter and seeing her love them in return is a beautiful thing.

I reckon all us working mums have a member of staff at our child's' nursery who make our lives a whole lot easier and it doesn't seem enough to give them a box of chocolates at christmas in thanks.

I could gush for ages about what they really have given Tabitha and us as a family but I won't. I don't really think anyone who hasn't experienced it would quite understand.

The parents out there who do are the ones reading this, thinking of their childs favourite nursery worker with a big smile on their face, nodding your head along with my words.

Nursery Nurses of the world you do an amazing job and for that millions of parents and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

News Update....

I haven't blogged in ages. I have hit the so called blogging wall.

So until it passes rather than fill the screen with twaddle and waffle I'm being honest, giving you all the heads up.

I have nothing to say.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Gallery - Colours.

I haven't taken part in The Gallery for what seems like ages. This week however I am off work and thought I'd get involved, the theme is colours and I have a perfect shot.

I spent a few days at my parents house in Selsey Bill and I think you will agree, that is a whole lot of blue right there. ( October? Really?)

Get over to Sticky Fingers to see what other colours people have come up with.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Wear it Pink! - Breast Cancer Awareness.

Get ready to wear it pink and be part of the cure!

I will definitely be taking part in Wear it Pink Day this year. 

This charity is one especially close to my heart. I have time and time again seen how cancer can devastate people I love and I have also seen how people can win their battle and conquer against the odds. 

To help promote the charity I am running a fund raising event in my workplace where we are charging £2 to everyone taking part. As part of the day we will be dressing up in pink and running lots of pink activities for everyone to get involved in. I'm thinking along the lines of baking pink cakes, painting pink pictures, and playing with pink playdough to name just a few.

It is really easy to set up an event for your work place, school or nursery. 

You can visit the 'Wear it Pink' website for more ideas and instructions on how to donate to the charity.

This is a sponsored post.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Baby Bow Boutique.

I brought Tabitha-Lo her first hair clips two days after our five month scan.

She is nearly two years old and I have had no call for those clips and after two house moves they have long since vanished.

As we can 'just about' gather a tiny clump of hair and get in a clip that stays put (if no one touches it) for about thirty seconds we have announced 'Clip Fun' can begin...

I have been following The Baby Bow Boutique on Twitter for a while and have had to make do with recommending them to others and browsing the collections for the last eighteen months I reckon they took pity on us and sent us some goodies to try out.

The clips arrived in a gorgeously girlie pink drawstring bag which is very useful for storing them. Tabitha-Lo was literally jumping up and down with excitement when she saw them especially the ladybird and Hello Kitty ones.

Unfortunately she likes looking at them in her hand far more than she like them in her hair but this is slowly improving. The key to getting her to keep them in is to stealth style get them in, never comment on them and under no circumstances show the child her own reflection at any stage of the day.

As you can see above they look quite scrummy and I am hoping will along with the dresses and pink buggy trim help us out on the 'oh he's lovely' comments that make me want to hurt people.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Pox has landed.

I knew it was coming.

Temperatures of 40 degrees and more moaning than an adult movie.

 Thank god for Calpol.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Book Club: It's a girl thing...

I don't read very often these days. It is one of the things like listening to music and dancing until 3am that has become part of a previous me.

I used to be able to consume an entire book in a day, finding myself walking around the house cleaning and reading too transfixed to put it down.

At certain times in my life I have read books that have left a lasting impression on me, ones that I can always recall reading and the feeling it gave to me when I turned the last page, gutted it was over. I usually fall for a book because it gives me something I needed at the time, perhaps if read at another stage of my life the impression would have been less poignant.

Anyway enough of the ranting. I am writing this today as I am immersed in one right now, a great book that is, and it is giving me stuff I needed to hear.

Read it if your 35. #fact

If you are wondering about the other books that have touched my life, I have taken a few from my all time favourites and featured them below...

Read it if you need some girl power!

Read it if you need some faith and hope...

Read it is your 15 and a pain in the arse...

Anyone else got some life changing page turners they'd like to share?

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden - Review.

Every now and then I doubt if I should continue with blogging, or if I should continue carrying out reviews on the site.

Every now and then something comes along and you think, 'Balls to that!'

I got invited to review a day at The Sanctuary - Covent Garden and funnily enough didn't turn it down!

I was a bit nervous about the whole thing especially attending alone but determined not to miss the chance of a bit of mummy pampering I arrived at the spa at 11am on a Sunday morning. (I could have arrived anytime from 9.30am as part of the package.)

The staff were really helpful and took time to explain everything to me about the treatments I was having, where to find the restaurant and took me round to each area personally to book me in for my lunch and make sure I was clear with where to go for each of my treatments.

I had two treatments included in my day package, a sleep retreat therapy and an express pedicure, both these treatments are just 30 minutes long.

I started the day with my sleep retreat therapy. After changing into my swimsuit and dressing gown I was pointed in the direction of the Koi Carp Lounge and the Sleep Room waiting area to be called to the treatment with my fellow 'sleep retreaters' who slowly gathered around me in the waiting area.

I'd like to state now that I was not keen on the wooden walk ways over the Koi Carp pools I am always sure in situations like this I will slip and fall like a clumsy mare into the water this 'oh gifted Sanctuary designer' does not make for a relaxing time. By the time I was called to the darkened galley of a sleep room I was frankly as tense as a banjo string and laid rigid counting down the minutes on a plastic vibrating mattress while some stupid woman told me to think of the my most annoying thought and then put it in a box. I hate that stuff.

To help me get over the sleep retreat debacle I ventured first to the pool and then to the jaccuzzi/steam room areas. No one spoke to me, there was no imminent death or humiliation issues just hot bubbly water and relaxation. Heaven.

After wondering around slightly aimlessly for a while I found the relaxation VIP lounge, its not really called this I should add but where the Koi Carp lounge is more suited to hen groups and gossiping PR girls this lounge is more aimed at the pouty upper class woman wanting to sit in the dark alone, drink coffee/champagne under dim lights and squint at posh magazines. I fitted right in *cough*.

I actually managed to sit/lay for nearly an hour under a furry blanket sipping coffee and reading magazines it was heavenly and I wished I just come straight in here when I arrived rather than the poxy sleep retreat. I wonder if they'd have let me trade it in for a glass of champers if I'd asked nicely?

I had to leave the VIP lounge for my pedicure appointment which was pre booked so that they would dry over lunch, a great bit of planning by myself I thought. I have to admit they looked fabulous and still do two weeks later. The staff were a good blend of polite yet chatty and not the stuck up beauty therapy wenches I've been exposed to during some treatments.

Lunch was the next highlight of my day and I mean highlight. The food was amazing. I felt a bit of a loner sat on my own but the fact that I was eating a perfectly cooked steak helped ease the pain! If you visit the Spa don't skip the restaurant it is excellent.

I could have stayed until 6.30pm as part of my day but me being me I was twitchy by 4pm and had to head home, I 'm sure some other female company would have changed that but on my own I felt a bit out of place.

My negatives of the day were the walk ways over the pond, its only time until 'Miranda' films a sketch there, the sleep treatment it was a total waste of everyones time, and basically being alone *gets out worlds smallest violin*

Overall however I would highly recommend The Sanctuary to anyone after a spa day, just make sure you take a friend and skip the sleep retreat, get all the other treatments and use the jacuzzis and pool until you are shriveled like a prune, eat in the restaurant and then sleep it off in the VIP lounge. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Check out the prices of treatments and packages and get booked in.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Is it? Isn't it?

For the past few weeks we have been on spot watch.

Chicken Pox is doing the rounds at Tabithas nursery and I am on convinced she is due to catch it any day. I have lost count of the number of times I have said ' could be chicken pox '.

So far we have had a viral infection two weeks ago which carried a small spotty rash which I was of course convinced was the pox and was only corrected after a visit to the doctor. It is a tough gig getting a doctor to even see you when you mention 'it might be chicken pox' most would rather misdiagnose you than actually let you into the surgery it seems.

Right now she has a chest infection which I of course decided was 'The Pox' brewing up until we saw the doctor and got given the wonderful Banana medicine.

This morning she is sporting a fetching spot on her cheek which again I'm suspicious of...

I think for everyones sanity I need the pox to come before I become obsessed with bath time inspections and misdiagnosis. In Boots the other day I nearly got some Calamine incase it came so I'd be prepared, I have lost my mind haven't I?

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Friday, 26 August 2011

Restaurant review: Satori Gyoza, Kingston.

Last weekend I fell on my blogging feet butter side up if that makes any sense to anyone else?

I was child free for the weekend and given two great review opportunities to experience.

Our first was lunch at Satori Gyoza, a Japanese restaurant located in Bentalls Department Store, Kingston.

I love Japanese food and thought this was too good to miss.

The restaurant is situated within the department store so this is not your 'date night' kind of place but for good food whilst out shopping I was really impressed. The staff were very friendly and helpful, willing to help you select from the menu if it was all too confusing for you. The conveyor belt seating is a must for those with older children, the plates are all colour coded by price so as they pass by you know what you are spending. The prices were very reasonable and as we were child free we even indulged in a tasty Japanese beer or two.

There is also a open kitchen hot plate so you can see the food being cooked by the chefs which makes for great visual entertainment too. 

We had a lovely lunch. I would always suggest getting a Bento box as a great option if you have no idea what you are ordering and the sushi we chose was beautifully presented.

It has been a few years since I grabbed lunch in a shopping center and I can honestly say this beat the hell out of a burger from a fast food outlet!

We will be back for more, besides I saw some nice shoes there for Tabitha too!