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.


 

 

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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 Beyoncé; 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.