Eating well is a form of self respect.

Quote unknown 

I’ve decided that we all have issues around food; some over eat, some under eat, some are fussy, some eat to comfort and others to reward, some are obsessed with counting the calories and others eat to forget reality…we are all in the food spectrum of crazy. 

I’m not that bothered about food if I’m honest BUT that doesn’t mean I don’t have weaknesses…crisps are my treat and delight, I can’t help it – I love them, to the point I don’t buy them because I will eat them ALL, seriously what’s the ‘share’ bag all about? 

However, I like this quote because it reminded me of things that I think are really important when it comes to nutrition…

 Your body is a temple: it’s true, it can’t easily be replaced and you deserve the best. Now we all have weaknesses and treats but try and make them the best quality you can afford. If you fancy a bit of chocolate rather than buy a cheap bar, most posh choccie often has a higher coco ratio which means you don’t have to eat so much. Plus, I always feel like it’s a bigger indulgence when it’s posh. Its usually richer too so you don’t need as much to satisfy you. Unless chocolate is your ‘crisps’ in which case, I wish you all the best. 

I often think what would the best of me pick? Then I have that. I don’t waste calories on things I don’t really like anymore either, I’ve never really liked raw tomatoes, so I have salads without them…this literally occurred to me several weeks a go, I realised I only have them on my plate because I thought I should. I’m also not into mushrooms and fry ups..I’d rather have a dippy egg and save my calories for a pizza later in the day 🙂

When eating out and about I always eat locally sourced, or eat what the place does best, for example in a steak house why would I want a pizza? On vacation in Barbados why would I want a Mexican dish? Eating native means I always find the chefs sprinkle a little more love into the recipes and it’s often cheaper. 

This quote should probably be on most of our fridges, it might help us to make better choices, surely our engines would run better with healthier options motoring us. I also think about my responsibility as a role model to my little dude, variety really is the spice of life and we all eat a huge variety and try new things together. I also don’t beat myself up about having a dessert or indulging every now and then. I don’t want him to see his Mummy counting calories and branding foods as ‘naughty’. So on that note, I’m off to eat a custard filled Doughnut as a Sunday delight just because. What’s your favourite food? 

Some days…

It’s true. I lack consistency. 

Some days I can arrive early, upbeat and organised beyond expectations. Other days I’m lucky to make it out of the front door without forgetting the essentials and brushing my hair is a luxuary.

How could I not use this quote; it’s got the word fridge in it. It literally jumped at me ninja style and curtsied with a wink. Plus, it read my mind. Lately I’ve been sharing gratitude on Instagram with the bloggers from #Grateful52 and in the next few weeks I plan to share a series of kindness acts, mainly because I want to be more actively kind myself. I think it’s important for the little dude to see his Mummy demonstrate these qualities. I guess this is the ‘amaze’ part of the quote. Many dislike Instagram and social media for its perceived ‘perfect lifestyles’ but I think perhaps we may have forgotten that we all have elements of joy to share. I truly love my job, my family and pizza, it would be wrong not to share this with the world (although I wouldn’t actually share pizza, that’s what BOGOF’s are for) plus I choose not to share the negative, it’s not something I wish to manifest in my world and it’s not a vibe I want my son to be over exposed to. The mass media, politics and society’s perception on diversity have this sorted. They ooze negativity and scarcity, however as always I believe in balance also. 

I have left my keys in the fridge. I’d like to blame pregnancy but I was 19 years old and at university so it was probably sleep deprivation, a poor diet and alcohols fault (they made me do it Mum). I haven’t ever dropped my keys down a drain, but I guess there is still time. I have been locked out twice in one week and made the locksmiths Christmas with new fancy locks and call out fees (he didn’t offer me a BOGOF). We are all (mostly) human and make mistakes, error of judgement and sometimes breed with complete and utter losers. We find ourselves in situations that should be on reality TV shows and we pull ourselves up from the ashes of doom. BUT I maintain that we don’t have to wallow in misery, although sometimes it’s nice to paddle for a short amount of time. 

Instead I’m with team amaze. Of course there will be days of haze but if we celebrate the joyful moments and push that out to the world surely that can only manifest more love…and right now we need more love and kindness in the world.

 Who will join me on my mission, how do you stay upbeat in this crazy world of ours? 


We are all broken 

It’s true, we all are. At times a little chipped and at others smashed with only hope and superglue to save us. 

Once you realise that you aren’t ‘mint in condition’ and more ‘wear and tear’ you can appreciate yourself more. Perhaps like an antique dealer looks over their goods, you should look in the mirror and see the advantages of age. My hair is highlighted which is far superior in appearance and condition to my teenage sun-in days. My wrinkles are forming through laughter and joy, with the help of time I fit my body far better than my twenties. I know it’s strengths and hide is weaknesses with accessories, frills and clever darts in the right fabrics. 

Normal is dull and actually, although I like sleek lines and Instagram homes, I really like the dents in my home, no seriously- my dinning room table has a few scuffs from usage. The famous fridge of magnet love also has a large dent on its right side from my sons head (which was also a lucky escape from a trip to AnE) and so it makes sense that our ‘flaws’ make us unique. 

As for the light seaping in, I think that’s a little deeper than our physical appearance. Our soul is our true light and when it meets someone it connects with – it instantly beams. Perhaps our flaws that keep us individual also allow us to maintain deeper relationships, not necessarily with a partner but friends and loved ones in general. My best friend doesn’t look like Taylor Swift, she is intelligent but no Einstein and when we sing together it makes me beam inside – but it won’t be winning us any BRIT awards and despite our in depth conversations, I’ve never heard a mention of a Nobel Peace Prize? However, she is perfect for me. I love her flaws and her attitude to life, I adore the way she finds a boost of assertiveness every so often and for the rest of the times is passive and puts herself to the back of the line, always at her own detriment. 

Look at your loved ones and love their flaws. Enjoy each others unique talents, ways and methods. Then look in the mirror and say ‘sure I’m broken, but look at the light that comes from within and now glows for those I chose to share it with’. That surely is what living is all about, right? May your days be full of light 🙂 

A grateful heart is a magnet for miracle’s

The fridge is a place for consistent quotes of inspiration, but every now and then we like to mix it up and today I’m writing thanks to the #rockingmotherhood nomination. Gratitude is something that I try to focus on and much like the quote above I truly believe it is a magnet for magic and miracles.

I was nominated by one of my favourite flowers and bloggers alike Peonie and me although the original idea began with Patricia at White Camellias (So many flowers) as she wanted to focus on the small but great things mother do right day after day.

The rules are pretty simple if you want to join in…

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • List 10 things you believe make you a good mother (this is just a guideline, it can be more or less than 10 – it really doesn’t matter)
  • Tag 3-5 bloggers to join in the #RockingMother tag.
  • Grab the badge and add it to your post or sidebar
  • you can also tag @whitecamellias for her to have a read and she’ll even RT for you.

So here goes my magnet list…

  1. I love a label. Since becoming a Mummy with my daughter in 2009 and then her flying off to heaven (she was too precious for this earth) I loved being called Mummy. In fact today Nanny Bonkers popped around and J answered the door (he is 3 years old going on 35), he said “Hi Nanny, i’ll get Lucy for you” (cheeky chops), she corrected him and explained that he was the only little boy in the world that could call me Mummy…and my heart sang.
  2. Working full time. If I have to be away from that little munchkin for more than thirty seconds, its got to be worth while. Since returning to work when he was five and a half months I am career hungry and focused. However, to all parents full time, part time or stay at home we all work around the clock with a house to run, a little human to grow and ‘the career’ so I’m taking a moment to high five myself and salute us all.
  3. Manners don’t cost a thing. He is polite and I work hard to remind him of his pleases and thank you’s. We never leave Nursery, Preschool, family or friends without saying ‘thank you for having me’ and although we occasionally forget in the demands of a drink or snack – Im usually proud. A bonus when you have a teacher for a Mummy means he also tucks his chair under 🙂
  4. Ive never lost me. The hardest part about the label is that growing a demanding tiny human means that identities can get confused and at times lost forever. I am still me, I know myself and I am many things AND a Mummy – not just the later. I think this has served me and kept me sane (…ish)
  5. Coats and accessories. In the rush of the Nursery run, the stampede to the shops or just leaving the house a coat, hat, gloves and all sorts of accessories are usually necessary in the UK (especially in the Summer months). I have a long commute to work which J joins me on and I’m notoriously bad for not wearing a coat myself. HOWEVER I always make sure J has everything he needs, including snacks and back up snacks (I’m growing a human dustbin) as I freeze by his side.
  6. Open loving and kisses. I work with teenagers so I know the cuddles and kisses don’t last forever, Im completely indulging in his squidgy hugs and if like today he is on a playdate and I say I need a kiss, he will drop everything and top me up (usually with a second helping of snot). Im so thankful to be around him and J ‘doggy hugs’ are the best – I’ve no idea why he calls them this, but they make me feel amazing.
  7. Enough already. This may sound cliche but I have recently had to step up the No’s as he demands and pushes the boundaries for what he wants. At times this literally breaks my heart and I have an internal argument with myself – but I NEVER give in, backdown or compromise. I know that with the boundaries in place now he is less likely to grow up to be a complete dick but its a battle for me none the less.

so thats my glass half full and submerged in love…below are some Mums who I think are also rocking it with style and my nominations.

  1. Selena at My Rambling Thoughts (we have an IG gratitude party on Thursday that you need to check out. Join us @fridgesays
  2. Kat at Beau Twins she’s a digital pro and single Mumma to twin future legends.
  3. Rachel is an over sharer and blunt as they come (Which is why I adore her) from Our Rach Blogs
  4. Hayley at Mission Mindfulness a kindred spirit of mine.
  5. Lastly, Hayley from Sparkles and Stretchmarks who frankly has the best blog name EVER.


 

 

Whistle while you work

In 2009 I gave up ironing.

Since my Mother had ironed for my family my entire life, give or take some time at university and away from the nest…i’d probably ironed only a handful of times when I retired from the chore.My retirement was announced as the fashion world had moved on and I had discovered ways around shirts, non iron fabrics and frankly it was dull and something I didn’t wish to do. Mr F kindly offered to help out, on the odd occasion that a fitted shirt was required and life went on…

This Christmas we had a wonderful family break, shared with friends and loved ones popping by. I somehow lived in the kitchen, in a cooking and washing up frenzy of champagne flutes, party platters and way too many plates in a variety of sizes. As a consequence my marigolds put up a good fight but my nails have entered 2017 fragile and a little worse for wear. However, if you think I’m moaning then you’d be mistaken – I realised there is something cathartic and hugely enjoyable about the mundane tasks life brings. Washing a set of Champagne flutes and then seeing them sparkle on the side board gave me a sense of achievement, the princess in me just likes to make things sparkle!

As normal life resumed the dishwasher has taken over and somehow I missed popping on my marigolds, listening to tunes and kitchen dancing while letting my mind wander…and thats when I realised that washing up was a super power. It allowed me during the chaos of Christmas to escape into my imagination. It also gave me satisfaction – and in turn a burst of happiness.

Further research ensued and yesterday I came out of ironing retirement. I only did about six items and once again retreated to the sanctuary of my kitchen to listen to music and ‘just iron’…I finished the task buzzing with accomplishment and happy. Not only do chores give a sense of responsibility to our children, they increase our pride and resourcefulness.

Then I did some hardcore research and found out that there is a connection to the lack of mundane tasks we have to do these day (mainly thanks to technology )and the increase in poor mental health. Now, Im not naive to think that all mental health stems from a lack of ironing, if this were the case the NHS would be handing out cleaning applicances instead of prescriptions. But for a general sense of happiness, a simple connection seemed to work for me.

Basic chores can reduce anxiety, lower stress and tasks you can do together with your partner can give you essential ‘talk time’ leading to stronger relationships – there was a study in 2015 that suggested that doing mundane DIY tasks together or washing up regularly meant you had a better sex life. Im pessimistic with this data and think its probably something the couples in 2015 would rather do than paint a wall.

Cutting the grass can actually make you more joyful. This is down to a chemical released in the freshly cut blades of grass that make you relax. I have to say I do find the smell of cut grass wonderful and it does make me relax – but as for pushing the lawn mower, I’m currently serving a life ban, as my only attempt to use our petrol driven motor nearly had me in the pond.

Making your bed is meant to ‘give you a positive boost’. Ive always made my bed in the mornings, so may not notice how this makes me feel – although I do get frustrated when I’m off to work and Mr F is still snuggled, I’m pretty sure this is down to jealousy of him still being in it and not my desire to make my bed?

Now to get a little more serious…despite mocking the research slightly, I can see its worth. A sense of pride in something that boosts your positivity. A clean house does make me happy…sure I could get a similar boost by coming home and finding it was done by a cleaner that I hired or a fairy that visited – but it isn’t the same as doing it yourself, the sense of pride is missing.

Before you all comment on how ‘in an act of kindness’ I can clean your homes this year, I absolutely couldn’t take the joy factor away from you. So, find pleasure in the simple task, use dusting to escape into a world of magic – after all it worked out beautifully for Cinderella.

Why be moody, when you can shake your booty.

Quote Anon

When I’m happy, be it a moment, a good day or an epic weekend I dance, sing and shake my booty. If only a sentence in to this post you’re thinking of me as Taylor Swift or a blonde BeyoncĂ©; to be honest any of Destinys Child then I’d like you to stop reading this and always picture the little miss behind the fridge doors in this way.

For those of you that have realised fridge doors have lights and reveal every nook and cranny – I can hold my own on the dance floor (on those rare occasions I leave the house) but my singing voice is…not my best quality. In my head I sound like Adele but the reality is more Chubaka, however it doesn’t stop me; it makes me happy. Car singing is my favourite, bathroom singing comes in a close second but my three year old yells ‘stop Mummy, I don’t like it’ (*sad face Mummy)

Recently I realised I wasn’t dancing enough, listening to my favourite happy sounds or even shaking my booty. After this sad realisation I did what any sane woman would do, I reintroduced kitchen dancing. While doing dull chores I add tunes of joy; personally, ironing and 80’s hits works for me, current charts is my dusting vibe, Whitney Houston is great for washing up and anything from Garage anthems works for organising.

The bonus is a little more exercise in my day and my family living with a better version of me. To take my kitchen dance floor to the next level my lovely Mr F bought me some light up trainers for Christmas; which let’s all be honest are a little bit amazing (and slightly cringe too haha)


Smiling is good for the soul and the science behind our smiles is even better, with just 17 muscles needed to smile we are on to a wrinkle less winner. Laughing burns calories (around 40 for every  10 minutes) and even better it is contagious, so you laughing spreads joy to those around you (or in my case they laugh at me).

I find the winter evenings can be hard on the soul, especially if like me you go to work in the dark and then come home in the dark. The financial pressures of the holiday season can overwhelm and frankly a common cold can make me feel low for way too long, so if laughter is the best medicine I totally recommend that you incorporate shaking ya booty into everyday life. It’s cheaper than therapy and you can probably have that whip cream on your latte guilt free.

Are you a kitchen dancer?

Fortune favours the brave 

Latin proverb

1st January in the U.K. was wet and grey, like the hangovers of the nation it hung its head under the covers and didn’t want to play.

A weird feeling came over me as we packed away the Christmas lights, it wasn’t of sadness but more of a waiting; was the year going to hold all I hoped? I remember thinking I probably had similar feelings about the year ahead as my son does on Christmas Eve, hoping he had been good enough to make the good list…waiting to see. 

During the Christmas joy I had decided to try my own homemade marshmallows, I’d bought the ingredients, checked recipes an online tutorials – but I hadn’t made them, I was anxious. Candy making recipes call for precision and boiling sugar can be complex…perhaps I’d seen too many tutorials but I realise is sounds ridiculous to read – I was scared of the recipe going wrong. 

At the moment I caught myself making excuses, I saw the anxiety and I thought ‘I’m f*cked if I’m going to start 2017 being scared of a squidgy puff of sugar’…

I hit the 80’s tunes, I mixed, boiled and whisked and guess what…


Like magic, I did it! I ran around the house with my mixture, I posted a pic on social media…this was not about making marshmallows, this was about (however silly it may appear) overcoming, being resilient and winning. 

As I write this I’m watching my son cry and overcome his fears of the water during a swim lesson…water is his marshmallow today. 

I’m sure if 2017 is as good as I hope, there will be many marshmallow days, they’re worth overcoming, after all you might end up learning how to swim or you may be able to enjoy the taste of sugar boiled to a precise 240 degrees. Whatever your anxieties are, or however brave you have to be I truly hope 2017 favours you. 

If there is effort…

Quote by Jigoro Kano

Seriously wise and on the surface completely right. Effort equals reward…doesn’t it? 

Sometimes I find in class that whilst the little demons get praise for sitting on a chair for thirty seconds, the effort of the averages go unnoticed – they try and effort is their best friend but sometimes society over looks effort.

When I do my hair because we are going out out and I feel amazing, Mr F doesn’t always notice. In fact sometimes I’m not sure he has even noticed that I’m siting across the table from him. Effort can be transparent 

Before you think I’m off my usual positive vibes, wait because a sprinkle of joy is moments away. 

I don’t think a feeling of accomplishment can come from anyone other than yourself, sure they can praise you (or in Mr Fs case notice my existence) but for me the joy and delight of accomplishment is the warm fuzzy feeling you feel, deep inside that you can’t bottle, inject or give away and that means one thing…

You can always put effort in and enjoy your own acccomplishment. 

When you are enough, when you love you enough and you know you tried your best – the outcome becomes irrelevant. 

When I feel good and know I’ve taken pride in my appearance, when I’ve put effort into an activity or outing and the family are ‘loving life’ I can take accomplishment. 

If accomplishment was a neighbour, she’d take in your parcels for you. She might even drop in a couple of slices of cake after an afternoon of baking. She would be a good neighbour, one you’d always make the effort for. 

So, in the week ahead and with a clean slate, let’s give the effort that we can, absorb the accomplishment that we feel and may be recognise the effort of others that we surround ourself in. After all, kindness and recognising other people’s positives is free and     may just make somebody else’s day. 

Zoe’s Christmas wish 

I hope the festive season is all that you hoped for, that santa was kind and loved ones (where possible) were near. I have a story that I’d like to share, it’s my interpretation of what Christmas means and it doesn’t involve a Mary, or a donkey – it does however involve an awesome thirteen year old called Zoe and some light up Polar Bears. 

Let’s set the scene…it’s mid December and just before the real FC jumps in his sleigh and works some serious overtime the wonderful local Lions charity come around our village with a santa representative on a sleigh (back of a van) with loud music, lights and elves that collect change but also give the children gifts. Last year my little man adored it but sadly for all sorts of reasons the event wasn’t happening this year. 

Enter the heroine of this story, Zoe. I’ve never met Zoe but I have read Facebook messages from her mum on our village page. Zoe has the gift of Autism which means traditions are sacred to her daily structure and the Lions charity event formed part of her Christmas preparations. However it wasn’t the disruption to herself that was the cause of her angst, she was devastated that the children in our village would miss out…

In her words: ‘the children won’t get flutterbys (excited) if santa doesn’t come or give an early present. Mummy can we make a grotto in our garden? I will buy the presents myself with my pocket money and the children can come here to get flutterbys…I don’t want the children to be sad.’

Zoe took her own pocket money and bought lots of toys, she wrapped them and then a few days before Christmas, she (via her Mum on the Facebook page) invited the children of the village to her front garden, lights ( some seriously cute polar bears), sweets and a gifts were on offer and best of all (in my little mans eyes) a snow machine. 

Her Mum mean while was worried that nobody would attend. We did and so did many others. Unfortunately we arrived too early to meet Zoe as she was overwhelmed by the people and the noises and stayed in her room, popping in and out when she could. For Zoe the event that was a few hours in length caused sleepless nights and an abundance of anxiety. However, an update on the Facebook site later that evening thanking everyone for coming and mentioned that she did come down, stayed and even spoke to some people. That’s seriously courageous. 

I’m blessed to work with teenagers aged eleven to sixteen and they often have a bad reputation. I’ve also worked with Autistic children for most of my working life. The behaviour issues and negativity of the condition are well known rather than the potential they offer. At a time when people are consumed by wants and desires;  Zoe made the choice to give to complete strangers, she has taught my family about love, compassion and giving which is what the season is really about, isn’t it? 

The event also meant that Zoe had to defeat the constraints that Autism can have in order to be part of the event, she was resilient and in my  opinion brave. For one evening she over came the fear, the sensory overload and she won. She won my heart and she taught me and my son the true meaning of Christmas. 

*Thank you to Zoe and her Mum for letting me share this tale with you all. 

Storms don’t last forever 

Quote by Niels Geusebroek 

A new year is coming (fast)

Hope of a new year, resolutions and a fresh beginning are all something we need every now and then. 

Perhaps much like the celebrity and idol massacre of 2016 you haven’t enjoyed this year. For myself it’s been kind, but not a stand out year that I’ll always look back on…way better than 2015 though – that was dull. 

I always think that years are much like the weather system with a personal overview of hailstones or patchy clouds and bursts of sunlight. 

Storms can play a part. We have all had stormy events that hit our families, leaving devastation and carnage in their wake. You never know when a storm may hit either, I find that Mother Nature can hurl a tsunami at the most beautiful sunny beach without much warning…life can also come in waves of destruction when you least expect it. Much like the weather system a storm moves on and so do negative people, horrendous event and death. 

We live near a beautiful woods, there are still trees rotting from the storm of 1987 (a little tot at 5 years old I remember my Dad having to hold me down from ‘doing a’ Mary Poppins across my school playground) and it made me think…when an event much like a storm hits our lives, sure we move on (like the quote suggests) but we are richer for the experience, much like the soil under the trees destroyed by the storm, or we rot like the tree trunk – never to transform through the seasons or reach new heights.

The vast weather elements allow us to experience contrast, and I for one enjoy my sunny days of carefree blue skies that little more for knowing how wet shoes and damp hair (which in my case equals huge amounts of frizz) can feel. Like a tall tree that finds itself in a huddle on the Forest floor after the impact of a hurricane it wears its experience well, a new place to hide, or perhaps it supports moss and plant life…sure not the tall and elegant tree it once was, but like us it can still be beautiful after its experience – it’s simply a matter of perspective and growth.

With this in mind, I hope you have escaped any blustery winds in 2016 but should a storm hit you out of the blue in 2017 – emerge better, richer and fully in knowledge rather than allow the weather to consume you and of course love every glimpse of sun and joy you have the pleasure to experience.