We’re all looking just perfect, honestly!

If like me you’re looking at the bikinis in the shops and thinking about your holiday wardrobe and panicking about how ‘beach ready’ your body is – then this one’s for you!

I tend to stay out of the ‘beach ready body’ debate. I think so long as you’re moderately  healthy, which is different from what your body looks like, your doing fine. I do find it difficult that we as Mamas especially worry so much about what our body’s look like and what messages that means we are passing on to our Smalls. The media in all it’s forms, is constantly telling us how we should look.

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Beach Ready Bodies – constantly meaning something new!

Coming home from our Italian campsite last summer which was home to thousands of women from a range of nationalities, Dutch, German, Italian, Swiss, British I can report we’re all looking just perfect!

It was a family campsite, 90% of the women there were mums, mostly with children under ten, mostly with two or more kids and we were wading knee deep in the toddler pool and sitting on the shore in our swimwear as it was gloriously hot!

I was Mama-ing without make-up, with my pear-shaped chunky thighs, c-section over hang and boobs that have fed three small infants. And while I can’t admit to splashing into the sea carefree, as if I were Pamela Anderson in Baywatch, I did my best to try to ignore my inner thoughts telling me I wasn’t looking how I was ‘supposed’ to look.

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Mama; in a bikini or a maxi dress, I’m still a Mama

I was witness to all sorts of body shapes from all sorts of nationalities in that pool. What struck me most was that none of what I saw tallied with the ‘beach ready’ images I’d been bombarded with before departure. Tummies were worn with strechmarks, over hangs and scars having housed the growth of a couple of humans, boobs were wobbly having provided food for a baby or two, hips were wide having sacrificed good diet and time to exercise to the much greater need for sleep recovery.

The biggest trick to not worrying about what your body looks like is not worrying what other people think your body looks like like. These are such good messages to pass on to our Smalls. We’re always telling them – ‘it doesn’t matter what they think’ well we need to start practising what we preach, it REALLY doesn’t matter what they think!

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While we worry about our own figures way more than we should, we so rarely have anything to compare them to other than the mass media pictures of toned, non saggy women. Word up folks, those pictures you see are not of ‘normal’ women. Normal women are the ones I saw hanging around the holiday pool. Scooping up their little ones on to their we’ll worn hips, squashing their thighs into the sand to help build a sandcastles and pulling toddlers on to their soft tummys on a sunbed.

You are not fat or curvy or wobbly or saggy or scarred. You’re normal! Perfectly normal. This is your body, eat healthily, take a little exercise because it’s good for you, not because you want to be beach body ready – trust me you already are! Mamas you’re looking perfect! Pick up that bikini, wear it with pride and trust me that it really doesn’t matter what other people think of your body, it’s YOURS!

Lucy xx

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Wicked Wednesday – The ‘Nature Footwell’

 

I’ve seen these lovely display tables in schools and nursery settings whereby all the wonders of nature are displayed on to a ‘nature table’. Some lovely Mamas even have them in their homes! Not us though, we much prefer the rustic look with a whole car footwell set aside for our ‘nature table’.

To be honest, the car footwell looks like this most times of the year – just turns out we are en vogue with it in Autumn most of all! The addition of the conkers makes it all the more justifiable, IMO!

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Do you have one of these in your car?

#Sticksarenotallowedinthehouse #theyliveonforeverinmycar 😆😬🙈

#WickedWednesday 2nd November 2016

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(*The lovely BrummyMummyof2 shares her favourite #wickedwednesdays picks of the week over on her blog…so if you’re feeling like the only one who’s dealing with this sort of shizzle, then check out the links, for you’re not alone!)

Follow: Me (Harrogate Mama) on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

Lucy xx

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Wicked Wednesday – Hunt the Blu Tac

 

I kid you not – this is a game I, a 39 year old woman, played just last night! I know! This folks, is what real parenting actually looks like!

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You think you’re getting a baby, you know, the ones that look all cute in their knitted hats in the magazine, and wham, before you know it –  you’re playing hunt the blu-tac whilst trying to make the tea in an effort to prevent bat sh*t craziness ensuing from the smallest child in the house!

The game is fairly obvious. The Small Boy devised it himself 😐 he hides the tiniest pieces of blu-tac he can find, all around the house and then he waits expectantly for me to find them, giving helpful three-year old clues, like – ‘it’s der Mummy!’ as he opens the cupboard door to reveal the hiding blu-tac! This can go on for almost ten minutes – which as Mamas know is a long time when you’re TRYING TO MAKE TEA!

This game has the added bonus of finding long forgotten tiny pieces of blu-tac for days to come when you open cupboards, put on your shoe or go up the stairs!

#thestruggleisreal

#WickedWednesday 26th October 2016

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(*The lovely BrummyMummyof2 shares her favourite #wickedwednesdays picks of the week over on her blog…so if you’re feeling like the only one who’s dealing with this sort of shizzle, then check out the links, for you’re not alone!)

Follow: Me (Harrogate Mama) on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

Lucy xx

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Wicked Wednesday – The Wedding Suit

The Small Boy, his sisters, Mr P and I are going to a family wedding at the end of the month! Everyone is very excited as the Small Boy hasn’t been to a wedding since he was five months old so we can’t wait to see how he’ll enjoy it!

We’ve 😂 I’ve been looking for an outfit for him to wear, pretty dresses I’m used to for the girls, not so smart outfits for small boys! Turns out he’s not so enamoured with wearing Small Boy smart clothes either, as getting him to try them on has been some feat!

Finally I’ve found something that fits, not after quite a lot of biscuit bribery and lying around like this had gone on!

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#Thankthelordforonlineshopping #imaginethisinanactualshop #howdidourparentssurvive?

 

#WickedWednesday 19th October 2016

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(*The lovely BrummyMummyof2 shares her favourite #wickedwednesdays picks of the week over on her blog…so if you’re feeling like the only one who’s dealing with this sort of shizzle, then check out the links, for you’re not alone!)

Follow: Me (Harrogate Mama) on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

Lucy xx

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What Does ‘Happily Ever After’ Look Like?

So, I’m going to be forty at the end of this year, and it’s been making me think about a a lot of things. Mostly it’s about what the future holds, how lucky I am to have had the past I have had, and ponder the meaning of life a little too.

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One of the themes I keep returning to is the happily ever after. I think you spend so much of your life waiting for the happily ever after you are in danger of missing it when it comes.

In your youth you grow up wanting to do well at school, go to university, get a ‘good’ job, find a partner, settle down, get married and have kids. Live the dream. Now I’m almost forty I’m there. Now I’ve done all those things, and I’m living my happily ever after, but it looks a little different than I imagined.

No one told me that it would look like a weekly shop at the supermarket, plunging the blocked toilet, staying in for the boiler man to come, wiping snotty noses, driving the kids here, there and everywhere after school, loading and unloading the dishwasher. So what happens if you get there and it’s not your happily ever after you’ve imagined in your head? I’m sure there were more day trips to the beach as a family in mine, less vacuuming.

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As we get older and I see that it’s not always the way we have it mapped out, things happen, lives change and once we reach destination Happily Ever After then what? Unexpected things go wrong with our physical health, our mental health, our personal and family relationships, things rock our world that are beyond our control, parents, relatives, friends pass away, lives change forever. Life seems to get more complicated all the time and worse still we’re supposed to have reached the end goal of the Happily Ever After.

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So what I’m beginning to realise now I’m almost forty is that Happily Ever After is not a destination: it’s a way of life. It’s  all the cliches you already know; it’s not about waiting for the storm to pass it’s about learning to dance in the rain. That in order to make a rainbow a little rain must fall. That we should stop waiting for our Happily Ever After to arrive and make it happen in our day to day-ness of lives instead.

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I’ve started at night to remember one Happily Ever After incident that’s happened that day amongst all the day to day-ness of managing everyone’s needs. Yesterday it was enjoying breakfast with my nephew, today it will be remembering how happy I felt watching the small boy scooter in the garden in his wellies, last week it was an outing we had at the park all together as a family. And when you stop to count them in a day there are so many Happily Ever Afters going on that no matter what else is going on if you can pause to remember and be grateful that you have those tiny things in your life that make you happy then you’re there. Your happy ever after is changing all the time and it always will, despite what’s going on in your life at that time. The trick is to remember you’ve made it, your making it and you’ve still more to make!

lucy-xx

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Harrogate Children’s Online Party Shop: The Whimsical Swift

Party planning has always been a mixed bag for me. I love to pin loads of great ideas from Pinterest and then never quite get round to putting the lovely ideas into action in time for the big day! Mainly I’ve come to realise it’s because I can only ever find cheap plastic kids party tat that looks nothing like the pretty pictures I’m pinning!

Wouldn’t it be lovely if all those fab Pinterest ideas could be picked up all in one place for your child’s party and you could live in a happy Pinterest world, if only for a few minutes before the kids actually arrived?! Well if you live in Harrogate then you’re lucky enough to have an amazing service like that right on your doorstep!

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I met up with the lovely Shelly from the Harrogate children’s online party shop The Whimsical Swift who sells a gorgeous range of children’s party products that you don’t see on the high street.

The range is super pretty, I particularly love the Liberty of London range – the Poppy and Daisy and Betsy items would work perfectly for a grown-ups tea party or hen do, as well as for a really nicely styled girl-of-any-age party!

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My girls would love all the Meri Meri items, unicorns are big in our house at the moment so the unicorn and rainbow range would be ideal!

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I also adore the candle holders perfect for topping any cake. The Lola Beau Glitter Fawn candle holder is super cute and the Small Boy would be falling over himself trying to get the T-Rex one!Harrogate Blogger, Harrogate Mama, Harrogate Mama Blog, Whimsical Swift, Online Party Products, Yorkshire, Blogger, Harrogate, Mama, Blog,FB_IMG_1455794994457.jpg

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If filling cheap plastic party bags is not your thing Shelly also sells filled paper party bags, this pastel themed girls treat bag is very pretty!

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She also sells some adorable dress up items, including these cute Woodland Fox and Bear felt masks and this ace Liberty of London Betsy Print Hat!

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With Halloween just around the corner you can get hold of a selection of goodies from The Whimsical Swift just in time for scary season!

Harrogate Blogger, Harrogate Mama, Harrogate Mama Blog, Whimsical Swift, Online Party Products, Yorkshire, Blogger, Harrogate, Mama, Blog,Bat-and-Spider-Tattoos-Meri-Meri.jpgThese Meri Meri Halloween tattoos have gone down a storm at ours and the spooky spider straws are really cheeky.

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The trick or treat bunting is so much nicer than any you’d see in the supermarkets and much less garish!

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The Halloween balloons are perfect too for something a bit nicer than the norm and the Meri Meri Halloween balloon kit would be perfect to take to a Halloween party as a gift or to make at home on a play date.

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Shelly is also selling these Halloween treat bags full of ghoulish delights and tasty biscuits too.

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I do love to support an independent business on the blog and especially so when it’s a Mama doing it for herself! So next time your party planning, make those Pinterest ideas a reality and save yourself a delivery fee in the process as you can collect from Shelly directly from Harrogate!

Incidentally I have a Harrogate Mama page on Pinterest if you want to follow me pinning all sorts of pretty pictures that I probably won’t end up putting into action! 😬

lucy-xx

Disclaimer: Shelly kindly gifted me a Halloween Goody bag for my small people.

 

 

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Wicked Wednesday – The Mama Brolly

Sometimes when you’re a Mama you end up doing things, saying things and wearing things you thought you never probably would. Here is a prime example; when I headed out of the hairdressers a few weeks ago without my own brolly. Disney Princess was the look I was totally going for – nailed it 😬

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#WickedWednesday 12th October 2016

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(*The lovely BrummyMummyof2 shares her favourite #wickedwednesdays picks of the week over on her blog…so if you’re feeling like the only one who’s dealing with this sort of shizzle, then check out the links, for you’re not alone!)

Follow: Me (Harrogate Mama) on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

Lucy xx

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Details of What’s On at Half Term with Discount Offer from Harrogate Mama

It seems like the summer holidays have only just finished and yet the half term is already on the horizon, I think once you hit October the term starts to run away with you!

I’ll be sharing a full What’s On at Half Term round up soon covering all the places to visit for FREE! But if you’re planning ahead and are looking for childcare options or just ideas to keep the kids busy in a new and interesting way, here are a few things that you might be interested in:

Stir Crazy Kids

On 26th and 27th October Stir Crazy Kids will be in Harrogate offering cooking workshops which are suitable for children age 4-12. The sessions run from 9.00 – 3.30pm at Harrogate Ladies College and cost £38.00. There is an option of extended hours if necessary.

The great news is that they are offering all Harrogate Mama readers a DISCOUNT on this price! 🙌 20% off each booking if you book with the code MAMA20, to book just visit their website.

“Our Halloween cooking and baking workshops provide an exciting, creative environment for children to learn to make yummy, nutritious food, taste different cuisines and make new friends! At the end of the day, participants can take home what they’ve cooked, along with new knowledge and skills.”

 

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Other session are also available:

Ilkley Grammar School – 25th and 26th October
Gateways School, Leeds – 25th and 26th October (and a bonus one on 1st November)
Harrogate Ladies’ College – 26th and 27th October
Queen Mary’s School, Thirsk – 27th and 28th October

 

Outdoor Holiday Clubs at RHS Harlow Carr 

On Wednesday 26th October RHS Harlow Carr are holding a creepy creatures capers workshop. The session will run from 10.30am -12.30pm and costs £5 for members and £10 for non members Suitable fro children age 5-7. Adults need to stay on site but don’t need to stay at the workshop.

“Join our outdoor holiday club this October half term and explore the woodland at RHS Garden Harlow Carr with our Forest School leader”

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On Wednesday 26th October RHS Harlow Carr are holding a wicked woodland creatures workshop. The session will run from 1.00pm -3.00pm and costs £5 for members and £10 for non members Suitable fro children age 8-12. Adults need to stay on site but don’t need to stay at the workshop.

Mini Medics First Aid Workshop for Kids

On Thursday 27th October Watson Training Services are offering a Mini Medics workshop on First Aid for Kids. This session runs from 9.00 – 3.30pm  and is suitable for kids age 7 -13 at St Wilfrids Church in Harrogate and costs £25.

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There’s an additional session at Darley Primary School on Tuesday 25th October. More details on their Facebook page.

Hookstone Woods Half Term Holiday Forest School

On Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th October Get Out More are holding their Hookstone Woods Forest School workshop. It runs from 10am to 3.00pm, it’s £20 a day and suitable for children aged 5-11. You can book through their website.

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“Following our fantastic summertime sessions, we’ll be bringing our holiday forest schools back to Hookstone Wood this October half-term. Be sure to book a place quickly for some fun and adventure – including the usual mix of games, den building, campfire and crafts – led by our forest school leader Sam. Forest school is an adventurous programme of play and learning in a woodland setting, led by qualified forest school professionals.”

The great news is Forest School are offering a 10% DISCOUNT to you, all you need to do is add the code  “HarrogateOct16” at check out!

 

Have you got anything planned yet? I’m still working it all out! Let me know if you’ve heard of any other good workshops for half term! I’ll be sharing all the great places to go for FREE or cheaply over the next couple of weeks too!

lucy-xx

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Wicked Wednesday – The ‘Stick’

The Small Boy loves a good stick, like most small boys! However, he loves to seek out the biggest stick he can find. Here is a prime example of the type of stick he loves from when we were at Newby Hall. Not sure this even qualifies as a ‘stick’! 😝

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#WickedWednesday 5th October 2016

brummymummyof2

(*The lovely BrummyMummyof2 shares her favourite #wickedwednesdays picks of the week over on her blog…so if you’re feeling like the only one who’s dealing with this sort of shizzle, then check out the links, for you’re not alone!)

Follow: Me (Harrogate Mama) on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram

Lucy xx

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Parenting; a Europe wide issue!

The evidence is out there, we’re all doing our best;

Whilst touring around our Italian campsite for two weeks on our summer holiday I was lucky enough to be able to witness a range of nationalities; German, Dutch, Swiss, Italian, British, Polish and many others. It turns out that Venice is easily accessible to lots of countries!

What struck me most was not how different we all were as families, but how remarkably all the same we are! All I saw were parents across Europe all doing their best to raise their family.

Turns out the same conversations are going on around the globe that you are having in your very own home.

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Refusing to smile for the camera is not just a UK thing!
  • The German 10 year old is being reprimanded by his parents over a lost hat? “where did you last have it?”
  • The Italian 4 year old is being shouted at for not looking where he was going on his bike.
  • The Swiss toddler is crying and wriggling, wanting down from her Dad’s arms.
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Toddlers not giving a sh*t – that’s a global phenomenon, honest!
  • The Dutch five year old is being told off in the restaurant for swinging on his chair
  • The British teenager is embarrassed by her dad’s dancing
  • Preschoolers from every nation are persistently being told not to throw sand.
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Throwing sand is not a problem you alone are facing, it’s Europe wide!
  • 14 year old Polish lads are in bother for booting footballs high and landing them on parasols
  • Children universally are not wanting to have sun cream applied
  • Every European little one is loosing it over late nights and too much sun.

So while you might think you’re the only ones dealing with this sort of shizzle, then rest assured you’re not. The same convos are going on around the world, the same little battles over mealtimes are being fought, the same exasperated faces from parents are being shaped. For this is parenting.

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Parents trailing unhappy children around cities of culture is not limited to the UK!

I found the whole experience completely reassuring! You are not alone Mamas, the rest of the world stands with you in your parenting highs and lows!

So next time I’m stuck thinking, why does everyone else’s child put their shoes on when they’re asked?! I’ll think back to my Italian campsite and think of my European counterparts dealing with the exact same situation themselves and be relieved, in the knowledge it’s not just me it’s universal, across the globe!

For doing all these things, fighting all these battles, sharing right and wrong with your children is just called being a good parent. In whatever language you speak!

If you want to see some pretty pictures of our holiday – and there were obviously some good times! Ha! They you can read this post all about it. Five go camping in Venice.

Lucy xx

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