The Summer Holiday Fear

The Summer Holiday Fear

The Summer Holiday Fear

Put your hands up in the air (put your hands up in the air) if The Summer Holiday Fear has set in.

 

The Fear encompasses all that goes with trying to entertain small people for an entire 6+ weeks. From the infinite piles of laundry, to the arguments over who sat where last, I felt it was about time it was given a name. 

Holiday Blues makes it sound morose and quiet, which it is anything but. It’s high octane and bloody loud.

Schools Out for Summer whilst it’s an epic song, makes it sound thrilling and exciting. Where in actual fact, particularly if it’s raining, its boring and quite frankly a bit beige.

Summer vibes perhaps? That wonderful warm, sun kissed feeling, feet up with a perfectly chilled glass of Rose in hand, watching the world go by. I bet you can practically taste it. But hold up, you need to fix the soggy, and now unfixable but oh so cute Fairy House, whilst chasing a wasp colony that appears to descend from nowhere, just as you sit down. Then the sun goes in, and a small person kicks your now warm wine over en route to tell you why punching their sibling was a justifiable action. Then you remember why, summer holidays can be, well, a bit shit. 

Whilst we have successfully managed to make it towards our 4th week, it has not been without some epic fighting, both physically and mentally. My usual enjoyment of being with my tribe, some how evaporates upon getting in the car on the last day of term. By the time we are paying homage to Maccy D’s en route home, The Summer Holiday Fear is full on established.  

The Summer Holiday Fear

I can’t decide if it is just because of the impending month(s) ahead of us, or there is a more to it than just The Fear?  I think it is a genuine dread of consistently being a responsible adult. This is not something that comes naturally to me. In my opinion, we have too many years ahead of us where being responsible is the only choice. Therefore I am rebelling. There are no reasons I can see that require me to be an actual bonafide adult in the foreseeable future. I potentially need to put my glasses on, look a little closer,  as Im sure there are many a reason. But, we’ve made it 9 years in on the Mummy front, and survived! Tell me I’m not the only one winging it?

Chalkboard with writing and books

Pink Hair, Don’t Care

As I am sure is the case in every family, we have our little Summer Holiday traditions, like the aforementioned McDonalds on the last day of term. One of our favourites, and the rebel in me loves, is the girls and I having pink hair. This began a few years ago, when we were in Spain and I had bought a pink shampoo and conditioner in duty free. It was literally the most fun, so has become a deep rooted girly pamper, and a quiet interval from The Fear.

As The Hubs works at home through the summer, he isnt with us by rule for very long. So pink hair, don’t care was absolutely no problem, when it is only Team Twiglet and I, in a country where we are just a face in a sea of many. As our summer holidays have taken a different format this year, we are on more of a staycay than a vacay. But, as all responsible (cough cough) mothers would do, I found a solution to our predicament. 

I left the rule book by the door, and we did what we do best. We popped into Terence Paul and watched the magic happen. It was absolutely the most fun we have had in ages. The girls are so proud of their pink hair, as am I! 

Much to my disappointment, Thing 2 wasn’t so keen on having pink hair, but I will work on him.

For now at least 3/4 of Team Twiglet have pink hair, and guess what, WE DON’T CARE! 

Summer Holiday Survival

Summer Holiday Survival

Summer Holiday Survival

I am proud to report we have successfully navigated almost 3 weeks of our ridiculously long 9 week Summer Holidays. Whilst I appreciate that Team Twiglet need to recharge their batteries, I swear 4 weeks would be more than enough to get them back to Duracell powered mini beasts. I am seriously running out of ideas of how to entertain three practically feral attention seekers. How do you entertain your tribe when the school holidays strike? Some days seem to be so much easier than others, but I am yet to figure out what is the formula to success. Other days, it is just a matter of surviving.

#BossBaby’s Squeal

#BossBaby has a very frustrating habit of squealing. Given we are pretty housebound due to my operation, it has become very, very annoying. She squeals in delight, in fright and always within earshot of adults if she is at risk of not getting her own way. Its akin to running your fingers down a chalk board, it practically makes your ears bleed. A completely unnecessary noise, especially if it is going to continue for the duration of the summer holidays!

She is the youngest, the baby of our family and I think she is struggling with the idea of growing up. She likes to be a triplet when it suits her, and join in with Thing 1 and Thing 2. However, she likes to be the baby too. It must be a very difficult road to navigate, especially as the older two are twins. But the squealing is bloody annoying. Luckily for her, I am on some awesome painkillers right now, so I’m a lot more relaxed than usual. I fear for her safety when the pain goes and I am back to my over-strict self. 

On top of a squealing #BossBaby it pains me to say that I think Thing 1 is a hormonal angry pants. Her ability to go from happy to dangerously cross is enough to rival #BossBaby’s squeal to tears ratio. She has always had a temper, as a baby, Thing 1 was a biter. She would get so angry, that if she couldn’t find someone else to bite, she would resort to clamping her razor sharp gnashes around her own arm! The naughty step appeared to be her favourite place to reside in her formative years.

Even to this day, if the red mist descends over her, I suggest you run and take cover. On the upside, at least she only screams and shouts these days, I don’t fancy being bitten by her fully formed adult teeth. 

The naughty step is still in regular use, particularly in the summer holidays. It seems to be the best place to put a child who has lost the ability to be reasonable. #BossBaby has been known to voluntarily put herself on the step in order to give herself some time out. She has always been a solitary creature, and can often be found meditating on the trampoline.

Instagram Worthy Summer Holidays

I often see insta-worthy family pictures of angelic looking kids and stunning parents. Perhaps enjoying an ice cream by the sea, joyfully happy because they are all having the best summer holiday. How do families do this? I would absolutely love to know how everyone looks so angelic and perfect. Stock photos and instagram gems are not good for the soul! I can’t remember the last time we took a picture together. One with everyone looking at the camera, let alone stylishly dressed with perfectly quaffed hair.

Thing 1’s hair is like a rug, sadly she inherited the frizzfro from me, unruly curls that misbehave regardless. Her idea of brushing it, is to do the two side over her shoulders. Who needs to do the back anyway? #BossBaby isn’t much better it has to be said, but as her hair is less curly, so we have less of a fight when it needs brushing. I think I need to buy shares in Tangle Tezeer. We quite literally have one in every room, handbag and even in the car!

Team Twiglet’s Crazy Shake

After a 10 minute search to try and find a picture of us as a family, I have given up hope. I have found pictures of missing socks, shoes and blazers. As well as mouth ulcers and broken toes, but alas, not a single photo of us all, let alone an instagram worthy one!

When I am more proficient at using my fancy pants new camera, I will endeavour to rectify the lack of family photos. However, Im not holding out much hope that we will magically turn into the perfect instagram family. So instead I am going to pop this little delight in. Team Twiglet endeavour to take one nice photo, followed by a Crazy Shake. Which invariably descends into laughter and typically looks like this.

Maybe this is why we have no decent pictures, and live a less than insta-perfect life. I wonder how many filters and photoshop trickery it would take to make us insta worthy? I don’t think anyone has the time or resources to do that. It would be tantamount to working a miracle. So you’ll be pleased to know my squealing, hormonal and hay fever ridden Team Twiglet will regularly be donating a Crazy Shake or two for your entertainment throughout the summer holiday, 

Shake your crazy’s guys, its fun,

Baked Eggs & Tomatoes

Baked Eggs 

Baked Eggs and Tomatoes, Oven and Aga friendly.

Baked eggs and tomatoes is a recipe that I  cook weekly, and I thoroughly enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner! As a family, eggs are a staple part of our diet. They are quick to cook, versatile and an excellent way of getting nutrients into Team Twiglet. We are fortunate enough to have the fabulous Egg Lady https://www.theegglady.co.uk delivery service, to ensure we never run out! Bear in mind if we are all eating scrambled eggs for example, I can use up to 15 eggs depending on their size! 

The recipe itself has taken inspiration from many different sources, including http://www.agaliving.com/aga-living/aga-recipes/mexican-breakfast-eggs#sthash.hMQOiFV5.dpbs . We have an Aga, and that does most of the hard work for me in the winter months. Team Twiglet and I get very saddened when we have to switch it off through the summer. Not only is there no bum warming facility, it also means I have to remember to turn the oven on and off. This transpires to be challenging for my little brain cell, I have been known to put a chicken in to roast and forget to turn the oven on. I have also been known to leave the oven on overnight because I forgot to turn it off. Less than ideal when The Hubs is the energy police and  recommends putting a jumper on as opposed to the heating when the house is cold.

Ingredients for Baked Egg and Tomatoes

 

2 eggs per person

Fresh tomatoes – I like to use a variety of tomatoes, but any will do. You will need a handful per person. They do cook and reduce down, so I would over tomato if you’re in doubt.

Garlic – As a family we are garlic fiends and have a generous amount in almost every meal. For fellow garlic enthusiasts, don’t be shy. I would use 1 clove per person. If garlic isn’t your thing, I would use 1-2 clove for the entire dish. It is there to enhance the flavours but not to over power them.

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to season

Optional extra’s

 

When I am making this dish for lunch or dinner, I add some or sometimes all of the optional ingredients as it makes the dish more filling. If you add any optional extra’s I would add another small handful of tomatoes also. This will ensure the dish doesn’t dry out.

 Chopped Peppers

 Chopped Onion

Chopped Mushrooms

Finely copped Chilli.

Method. for Baked Eggs and Tomatoes:

 

Pre heat the oven (and remember to switch it off when you’re finished) to 200′. Aga users, place a shelf on the lowest runners in the roasting oven.

Finely chop/garlic press the cloves of garlic and add to an oven proof dish. It will need to large enough to contain all of the ingredients – which is dependent on the number of people you are feeding.

Chop any larger tomatoes into rough quarters, no need to chop cherry or small tomatoes. Put all the tomatoes in the oven proof dish.

 Add any optional extra’s.

Drizzle oil over the contents of the oven proof dish. I am quite generous with the oil if it is the weekend, but less so midweek!

Give everything a good stir and place on the middle shelf of the oven, or the lowest runners in the roasting oven of your Aga.

Allow to cook for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are bubbling nicely.

Remove the dish and place on a heat proof surface. Make wells in the mixture to crack the eggs into. For example, if you’re cooking for 2 , you need to create 4 wells. Crack the eggs (remember the dish is scorching hot so don’t use that to crack the eggs – this is speaking from blister experience) and gently fill each well with one egg. You may already start to see the whites cooking, which is just what we want!

Put the dish back in the oven and keep an eye on it. I really enjoy a runny egg, and Brucie Bonus it means it will be ready sooner! In order to judge this, I have developed a scientific way of checking if the eggs are ready.  This has undergone rigorous testing* and is by far the best method to check the consistency of the yolk.

You tap the side of the bowl

If the egg white will move a little, the yolk will be runny. If you prefer it cooked through or are expecting, wait until the egg white is more solid.

The eggs will continue to cook in the pan so I would suggest you serve immediately using a large serving spoon. The challenge is to successfully extract the eggs intact, I have tried many a method and the big spoon one seems to be the most successful. Team Twiglet enjoy theirs on toast, but I tend to find it filling enough without. Although it is pretty delish to soak up all the garlicy, yolky goodness with a nice bit of sourdough!

There are lots of variation on the Baked Egg front, check out one of my heroes Jamie Oliver https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/eggs-recipes/baked-eggs-lots-of-ways/ recipes, for some more inspiration.

I hope you enjoy a baked egg or two as much as I do. Tobasco is my favourite condiment, it compliments all the ingredients perfectly. But be warned, don’t put too much on, it makes your eye balls sweat!

Leave a comment with your favourite combos, its always nice to jazz up a family favourite! You can find more recipes and the odd disaster here https://parentingfailsandpigtails.co.uk/cakes-makes/ 

Ciao for now,

*Complete and utter tosh. I have learnt by mistakes. Baked eggs can turn into bullets you could break a window with. I have successfully developed the Tap The Bowl technique to try to ensure you lovely lot don’t end up with bullets.

Back to Basics – SEO

Back to Basics – SEO

Every Day I’m Waffling

Back To Basics

To be fair, back to basics is pretty much how this week has panned out. Post op, Ive not been feeling myself, and it has seemed to be the best tact to take in multiple situations. My facial expression opposite says it all! I have however, been cheered up by the slogan on this fabulous, flamingo pink jumper and it couldn’t be more accurate. (Thank you to one of my all time besties for such a fabulous treat, you know me so well, I shall be seen wearing it forever more!). You can find this fabulous jumper here http://www.cocaranti.com 

or here https://www.wildfox.com ).

Albeit, the “thinking about” isn’t about to change into “going to” the gym any time soon I fear. It is more truthful to say I am “Pining about the gym” it is after all, one of the things I love most in the world.

I say one of the things and not the main thing because, aside from the obvious kids, The Hubs, The Fam & Friends etc etc. My most favourite thing in the whole entire world is ….this is going to come to you as a complete shock, as it has never, ever been mentioned by me before………wait for it……….

is the suspense killing you yet…..

WIIIIINNNNEEEEE.

I bet none of you saw that one coming. 

This week has not been a good week. Between shoulder spasms, tears, staples and sleep deprivation, I appear to have also lost my usually fantastical (ha) sense of humour. I have sat down to write witty, engaging, SEO friendly content about 100 times – with absolutely zero success. So instead, I am going to ignore whether or not this #blog is, or is not, ticking all the right boxes and go back to basics. I’m thinking more toast, less Yoast. (which, should you be needing to find out vital stats for your blog is awesome by the way, it just doesn’t taste too good with butter https://yoast.com ). 

Lets go back, waaaaay back, back to basics and what I do best. Waffle complete and utter tosh to all you lovely folk in the hope it raises at least a smile or two. Ironically, currently as I type, only one half of my face can smile. If I concentrate, (big ask I hear you say), I can get the other half to work a bit too. 

However, I dribble when I drink and that’s pre-wine, and I can’t guarantee the food on my fork makes it into my mouth in the way expected of fully fledged adults. My eating habits resemble those of Thing 1 and Thing 2, and that is most definitely NOT a good thing. I also can’t be certain whether I’m chewing the food I have put in my gob or my tongue – either way its classed as protein I guess?

So, going back to basics to means I need to get one thing off my chest. The whole algorithms, SEO, DA, PA is BORING. There, I’ve said it.

BORING. BORING. BORING.   

 My goal is to grow with this blog, to align with fabulous readers, likeminded brands and creatives, and ultimately  showcase my wonderful waffle to the world. I endeavour to catapult my social presence, and one day be cool enough to become that coveted thing known as A Success. Currently, my only hope is to align with brands who need help marketing contraception I reckon. Having 3 kids under 3 sends even the most normal of people bonkers. I was disadvantaged from the off, as not normal to start with.  

Or, maybe I could be an anti-influencer? Work with rival companies and spoof their competitors. Hey, I reckon that’s a business idea right there, what do you think? Are you in? Reminiscent of Punk’d way back when MTV only had one channel and Ronaldo debuted for United.   

I have to confess, I used to try to be cool. Those who know me personally, please feel free to belly laugh at these attempts, mostly found in the late 90’s blessedly before social media was a thing. A big hello to those who know me through this blog and my internet documented fails, check out https://parentingfailsandpigtails.co.uk/uncategorized/friyay/ and the rest of my site, where I can guarantee you will get a feel for my general, and life long ability to find myself in situations that can only happen to me.

Today, I look ghastly. I don’t reckon all the make up in the world will make my face or my staples look any better. It’s a shame it’s not nearer Halloween, because I wouldn’t need a costume. Thank you to all those that have just fleetingly thought I’ve never needed a costume because I naturally look scary enough. Or that I have Casper the Friendly Ghost nailed  365 days of the year. 

Im also devastated to say that I don’t think I can fly (yoga or aviation) anytime soon. My head feels like it weighs about 50 stone, oh no wait, that’s me due to the disastrous number of crumpets I’ve consumed and inflicted on my ever expanding arse. My head is more like 5 stone perhaps. Fun Fact of today: The average human head actually only weighs between 10 – 11 pounds…

https://www.brainstuffshow.com/blogs/how-much-does-the-human-head-actually-weigh.htm  

Can you tell its the Summer Holidays and I am trying to entertain Team Twiglet with random fact finding expeditions due to the disastrous weather? You can actually ask Alexa anything. And yes Thing 2, she does indeed burp. I am not convinced using Alexa fits in with my back to basics philosophy of today, but nobodies perfect. 

Unfortunately, I  feel like my head has the potential to physically hang off, reminiscent of Nearly Headless Nick for all those Muggles out there. In fact, if I sneeze, I reckon my head might actually fall off. I also have “cough fear” in so much as my insides might end up outsides should I have to clear my throat. I have to admit, I have reached the stage now where I am sick of the muscle spasm, my head feels like I’ve lost a round with Tyson Fury, and my neck resembles a zipper.

Shit day all round I say. 

As the saying goes “If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry”. My darling Sister-In-Law produced the photograph opposite using this app https://www.faceapp.com in the hope of raising a smile. Despite her best efforts, it has genuinely filled me with dread about how bad I am going to look when gravity takes hold and my nose trebles in size! I mean, I know your nose never stops growing (this could well be less fact, more fiction akin to when your ‘Rents tell you if the wind changes, your face will stay like that), but seriously, with that nose, I’m giving Shrek another run for his money. 

https://parentingfailsandpigtails.co.uk/uncategorized/my-blog-and-i-readership-or-really-sht/

I am however about to download it and use it as this afternoons Wet Play entertainment given the dire weather July has offered us thus far, given the fact we are already week 2 of the Summer Holidays. Why is it only ever sunny when they are in school? 

So whilst this waffle isn’t SEO friendly, it is making me feel better, and hopefully resurrecting my love of writing funny’s. I I feel as though I have got myself so lost in trying to figure out how to make Parenting Fails & Pigtais “work”, Ive forgotten why I began inflicting my waffle on you lovely folk in the first place. 

I am taking up this minute piece of binary 0’s and 1’s to make you, me and anyone who cares to read this, laugh. I can assure you, my life, my attempt at motherhood and all that goes with it, is most definitely, unequivocally NOT Instagram friendly. For example, when I decided to use washing up liquid in the dishwasher one time, because I had run out of tablets. DO NOT DO THIS, unless you want a Foam Party circa 1999. It did smell far better than whatever that foul stuff was that we not only voluntarily got sprayed with, we actually paid for the privilege!!! This would have been an ideal time to go back to basics and actually just do the washing up, karma totally got me back.

Whilst attempting to use my business but drug fuddled (legal ones only) mind these last few days, Ive been researching social media content, and how to schedule posts in order to stay current and relevant.

Do you know there is a national “Talk in an Elevator Day” coming up. An actual day, dedicated to talking to someone in a lift. I am super tempted to get myself a little chair, a coffee, and park myself in a fancy one in Selfridges or somewhere, and see how long it takes for security to arrive.

“Gosh, sorry Mr Security Guard, Today is National Talk in an Elevator Day. I am fulfilling my duty on behalf of our nation. Oh, the chair? I went with comfort, you know, my dedication to our nation has meant I have been here a few hours already. I used my initiative. In fact, I bet there is a National Initiative Day too, I shall research and get back to you. Please come in, mind the gap, I shall now talk to you whilst ensuring you reach your desired destination. Oh shit, we missed your floor, not to worry, we can go back up again.” Cue some big burly dude taking me, my chair and luke warm coffee out of the building via the fire escape to avoid bringing any further shame to the fabulous store that is Selfridges.

Guys, may be it’s not actually a terrible idea? It would certainly make for a good Vlog. Think flash mob? But for now I shall leave you with my none SEO, DA, PA box ticked waffle, because sometimes its nice to just write, 

The Mummy Concierge

The Mummy Concierge

The Mummy Concierge offers you personalised planning from bump to baby. How amazing does that sound? When I fell pregnant it was a huge, HUGE surprise. Given the amount of treatment I had received, there was little hope that my ovaries were in good enough nick to conceive naturally. I have an ongoing battle with that annoying thing called cancer – more on that here -> https://parentingfailsandpigtails.co.uk/the-big-c/. In order to start on the IVF programme, we were advised to “stop being careful” for 18 months, with the view that we would then begin to try to introduce children into this world, however that was possible.

Little did we know, 4 months into our 18 month plan, we would be fortunate enough to conceive naturally! An as if that news couldn’t get any better, we were expecting TWINS.

Now, I wouldn’t swap them for the world, but boy was it tough. From “peeing on a stick” right through to my emergency c-section, it wasn’t plain sailing. On top of that, my level of disorganisation was shameful. Thing 1 and Thing 2 arrived so early we hadn’t even had the car seats delivered. Fail numero uno considering you need to have one in order to take bubs/bubbas home from hospital with you.

Although not required immediately, the nursery still had the lingering odour of fresh paint, the blinds were yet to be hung, and even the heating was a bit sketchy. But alas, they were ready to make their entrance into the world, regardless of how unprepared I was! We landed, twins and all, with a (still ginormous postpartum) bump.

What The Mummy Concierge offers

Tiffany offers a service that will cover all the lists of lists that daunts us all about impending parenthood. Who here loves a list? “Me” I hear you say, but I’m guessing, like me, only the ones you manage to tick off! Which was definitely not the case in the aforementioned scenario. It is so very important to get the help and guidance you personally need, and no amount of blogging me, you or the other millions of wonderful people out there do, can achieve this. I certainly don’t have all the answers or the ability to offer all the guidance you seek for the newest member(s) of your family. 

Aiding in everything from personal confidence to pram purchasing, Tiffany endeavours to ensure the transition from bump to baby is a seamless as possible. Although, I have to say, sleepless nights are pretty much a guarantee, if you were unaware of this, I am sorry to be the one to break it to you. On the upside, Tiffany can even aid in the night time routine, she is practically a real life super hero, who is contactable by email tiffany@themummyconcierge.com day, or night. 

Stylish Mama’s To Be

Bump support and style are two key areas The Mummy Concierge covers, which would have been of such benefit to me and my humongous sized bump. I struggle to tick the “stylish” box naturally, and I definitely didn’t achieve the coveted pregnancy glow. Primarily because I was either being sick, felt sick, or was sick of being sick for pretty much the entirety of both pregnancies. I am gutted this service wasn’t available when I was green (morning sickness/nerves/shit the bed I’m having twins/all of the above) with worry about becoming a first time Mummy. 

If there is an area in parenting you need help, advice or assistance on, I would thoroughly recommend visiting www.themummyconcierge.com

Tiffany’s testimonials go to show what an amazing job she has done for each of her clients, I only wish I had my name on there! Her website is clean, easy to use and informative. Given the multiple ways to contact Tiffany, it leads me to believe she is incredibly dedicated to her clients and the role she plays in the amazing journey of bringing a little bundle of joy in to this world.

I am a full-time hands-on Mama and I know I still need all the help I can get – even if my #BossBaby is 7 (years) old already. Whilst Im a huge advocate of finding your own way in life, sometimes knowing a (wo)man who can is the most emotional and time efficient option available. 

Have a peep, Im sure you will love what she offers just as much as I do,