Parody of a Mummy Blogger

Today is my blog birthday.

Yes peeps, today my blog is a whole two weeks old!

I KNOW.  I can’t believe it either.  TWO WEEKS!

In celebration of this momentous event, the lovely people at MyBloggingTips.com have asked me to write a very special Two Things I Have Learned in Two Weeks.  I am, like, SO EXCITED.  I know all you lovely people can’t wait to hear all my words of wisdom; how I’ve created my own little space here on the World Wide Webs, worked with some amazing brands, and found inner peace after a traumatic nail break six days ago.  So here goes.

1.) Write some stuff.

I KNOW.  I wish I had thought of that too!  Apparently that’s what blogging is about, writing stuff! WHO KNEW?  Since I first put pen to paper-oops, I mean fingertips to keyboard (lucky I had those false nails from GoNailMe removed after the nail break.  Only £25 for shellac nails, all in a variety of gorgeous and unique designs!) two weeks ago, I have been literally blown away by all the love out there.  The other day I had a post featured on Mumsnet.  You know, the one about the refugee children #hotoncurrentaffairs #compassion #RefugeesArePeopleToo, and I had sixteen likes on Facebook, raising awareness of the Save Syria’s Cats Campaign.  People, our words are powerful!

2.) Set up a website.

I literally couldn’t believe how easy this was!  At least, it was easy once the good people from WebHostingServices4U.com had talked me through it.  Apparently, you just buy a domain name (only £600 per annum at WebHostingServices4U.com!) and then set up a WordPress account.  Next thing you know, you’ve broken the internet with your recipe for Baby Mia’s First Foods Mashed Courgetti with Celery Sticks (only £4 per jar from the Baby Mia’s First Foods range at Asda).

As if this weren’t exciting enough, over the next few days I will be premiering my brand new ebook: Blogtastic!  What I’ve Learned From Two Weeks of Blogging, which will be available as an exclusive download from Amazon.com, and I have an exciting brand collaboration coming up with Little Noses Baby Muslins, who are taking a very special series of photographs to commemorate the four hundred Instagram likes I got for my picture of little D blowing her nose in a field of tulips.  She was wearing the most ADORABLE baby dungarees from Dotty Dora’s Baby Boutique.  I can’t wait to see how the pictures turn out!

The other day I was asked by the lovely people over at the Blogging Newbies Support Group to give my advice for any aspiring would-be bloggers out there.  I told them that the most important thing is to Find Your Unique Voice.  Do you love baby haircare products?  Or do you prefer taking photos of yourself face down in a bucket of gin on a Saturday night after having to look after the kids while hubby pops out to the shops?  Whatever you love, blog about it!

After that, I would say network in the blogging community.  There’s a whole world of love out there if you just go looking for it.  In the past two weeks, I’ve made some friends for life.  We’ve bonded over broken links, drank wine over Whatsapp and eaten cake together via Skype, and it’s been emotional.  I’ve nominated twenty-six people for the Blogarama Blogging Oscars in the past two days and I’ve still got another four hundred posts to read and comment on this week alone!  Hubby has forgotten who I am and is threatening to run off with the au pair!

Speaking of the au pair, yesterday was her afternoon off and I had to look after Little D for TWO HOURS!  I explained to hubby that there was no way I could keep up with all my linkies #funnymummies #reviewposts #toomanycomments but he had to go to work or something.  I’ve got a post in drafts about it! #Trauma

Anyway, finally I would like to say a big thank you to #BloggingCakes for my lovely blog birthday cake, which they made gluten and sugar free especially for me!

You can also catch me on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus, Snapchat, Tumblr, Facebook, Periscope and Grindr.  Also, don’t forget my latest vlog: What’s In My Changing Bag? over on Youtube.  Here’s to another two weeks, people!  #Happy #Blessed.

I received my domain name from Deep Blue Domains for the reduced price of £450, in return for this post.  The blogging cake was given to me free in return for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  I wasn’t paid for the Amazon.com reference.  Facebook haven’t yet responded to my tweet offering free advertising.

Also, if Coco Chanel is reading this, I LOVE your handbags.  The perfect match with any outfit.

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows


Petite Pudding
ethannevelyn

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Life Love and Dirty Dishes

The End of Reason?

I have glimpsed the future, and it is terrifying.  In America, President Trump rules with a rubber fist, changing his mind every five minutes to suit whoever he thinks the most influential section of the electorate are; a longer, higher, version of the Berlin wall stands across the Mexican border and anyone who attempts to cross it is ruthlessly shot down-especially if they are judged in that split second to look *possibly* like they might have the potential to be a rapist.  Being Muslim in America now involves meeting in secret, under cover of darkness, and communicating via special signals in order to stay out of the reach of the secret police, who are routinely arresting anyone caught practising Islam, accusing them in fake trials of being terrorists, and then feeding them to the lions-along with their families-in the brand new gold-plated Trump Arena.  Women are only allowed to be seen in public if they are deemed by an arbitrary Trump-approved standard to be “a 10,” and the Bible is being taught in classrooms as the literal truth.  Every single word of it.  Even the bit about Lot and his daughters.

Ridiculous?  Yes.

Possible?  Well, let’s just say that I doubt anyone was taking Hitler too seriously after he attempted to topple the government in a pub in 1923.

Anyway, let’s not worry too much about it.  We’re in England, after all, the Land of Hope and Glory, former imperial overlord of two thirds of the world.  IT’LL ALL BE ALL RIGHT, FOLKS.  If we end up leaving the European Union we might even get our Empire back and when the sea levels rise what remains of our island will be able to float around, untethered, like in the days of our great Navy, ruling the natives wherever we happen to lay our bowler hat, right?

Well, I’m not so sure.

A few months ago, I was walking through the city centre, when my ears were assailed by the sound of a man standing on his proverbial soapbox, haranguing the disinterested shoppers with his version of events that occurred at the creation of the world.

“WE ARE NOT MONKEYS!” was his opening gambit.  “WE WERE DESCENDED FROM APES, SO THE SCIENTISTS SAY.  BUT THEY ARE WRONG!  GOD MADE ALL OF US, IN SEVEN DAYS!  DON’T BELIEVE THE SCIENTISTS!

Oh, that’ll be the same scientists who discovered the world wasn’t flat, the sun didn’t orbit the earth, and invented the loudspeaker you’re shouting through to communicate your uneducated opinions to the city of Bristol.  Damn those pesky scientists!

I thought about covering the ears of the then 15 month old Piglet, concerned that, at best, he was going to start asking awkward questions about who this “God” person who apparently made us was, and at worst, was going to start telling the other kids at nursery that the earth was flat, and if they walked to the end of the street, they might fall off.  However, I decided that the best approach was to confront the issue head on.

“Don’t listen to him!” I declared, in a style not unlike Father Ted holding up a sign saying “down with this sort of thing!” as we walked defiantly into Marks and Spencer.  “This is not true.  EVOLUTION IS TRUE!”

Piglet was non-plussed.

However, he won’t be non-plussed forever.  Sooner or later, he will start asking questions.  And I want those questions to be answered reasonably and sensibly, using the best and most up to date information available.  I want him to be informed about the world, to ask questions, and to always question, as great thinkers always have, not to be stifled and presented with an idea and told that it is the truth, nothing but the truth and never to be challenged.

Especially if that “truth” comes from a collection of ancient stories written thousands of years ago and never intended to take the place of scientific enquiry.

Let’s imagine, for a second, that I believe in unicorns.  I believe the world was created by the One Great Unicorn, from whom all other unicorns are descended.  No one can prove that it wasn’t, as no one was around before the Big Bang, so no one can tell me that the Big Bang wasn’t the result of a huge great waft of fiery unicorn breath.

Do I expect my unicorn story to be endorsed by the scientific community?  Do I expect Stephen Hawking to add a new chapter to his seminal work A Brief History of Time, stating that there are various versions of the Big Bang story-IT’S ONLY A THEORY, AFTER ALL!-and that other interpretations exist, one of which is the idea that the Big Bang was caused by an explosion of unicorn breath?

Do I expect Richard Dawkins to hold his hand up and admit that maybe Darwin was wrong after all-EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES!  NOT EVERY FOSSIL OF EVERYTHING EVER HAS BEEN FOUND YET!  THERE ARE GAPS IN THE RECORDS, YOU KNOW!

No, I do not.

I’m not anti-religion.  Everyone has the right to their own personal beliefs, no matter what they are-even if they involve unicorns with fiery breath.  However, do I think opinions should be presented as facts?  No, I do not.  Do I think that a zoo aimed at children should be promoting and publicising these opinions as though they are on an equal par with scientific theories?  No I do not.  Therefore, imagine my reaction when I saw this yesterday, on a day out at a nearby zoo farm.

creationism
Yes, and the Earth is flat, people.
creationism
Looks like the man in the city centre with the megaphone, shouting about the “monkeys,” just found a new ally.

Do I think science has all the answers?  Of course not.  That’s why science exists, for us to question, to explore and to learn.

Do I respect the right of all religions to their own beliefs?  Of course I do.

Do I think that those beliefs should be presented in a place that claims to be an educational setting, as though they are facts, corroborated with “evidence” that is either discredited, cherry-picked to suit an agenda, or simply false?  No, I do not.  I fear for a world where ignorance and superstition is allowed to take the place of reasoned argument, for that is a world which could all too easily end up like the dystopian future United States of Trump.

 

Life with Baby Kicks
ethannevelyn

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
My Petit Canard

Introducing the world’s first Gu Chocolate Pot Baby

Well, the insemination process is complete.

And if I get pregnant, I will be writing to the Daily Mail and proclaiming it a “miracle baby.”

I’m sure the Daily Mail has lots to say about people importing sperm from abroad off the internet and using it to self-impregnate.  Hell, they could even illustrate their disgust with a picture of me showing off my “bikini body” on holiday in their sidebar of shame if they wanted to.

Not that I’m going on holiday this year as cannot afford it after buying sperm off internet.

Anyway, the insemination was a bit of a disaster.

I say “a bit” because it was actually 50% a disaster.  I had ordered two straws of semen (I didn’t see why you couldn’t just order one, but I figured that as I was paying so much for the shipping anyway I may as well go the whole hog) and miraculously managed to get them both out of the nitrogen tank without causing injury to myself or, more importantly, the sperms.  Not that I could really be one hundred per cent sure of the latter as obviously they are microscopic.  And reader, it was EXACTLY how it looks on TV, you know when they get the semen out of the tank in the lab with a big ladle, and all the nitrogen-steam escapes.  AMAZE.  I felt like I was in a laboratory when in fact was in own bedroom.

Anyway, I then thawed all the little sperms out of their slumber and prepared the syringe.  Except that I didn’t have a test tube handy (who has a TEST TUBE in their house?) to pour the sperm into, and the entire contents of the first straw ended up on the floor.  Disaster.

Fortunately, I managed to rescue the second straw by using an old “Gu” chocolate pot in lieu of a test tube, to empty the sperm into.  Forget “test tube babies,” the “Gu Chocolate Pot Baby” will be a world first.  Maybe I could even get Gu to sponsor the baby’s upbringing.  This is assuming that there will be a baby, however, and frankly that is looking unlikely since the content of one straw added up to no less than 0.5mls of semen.

I know they say it only takes one but that is ridiculous.  I have basically just done the turkey baster equivalent of have sex once with a man with a ludicrously low sperm count who hasn’t even properly ejaculated.  No amount of lying on the bed with my lower body propped up on a cushion is going to rectify that.

Anyway, now all there is to do is send the nitrogen tank back to Denmark, forget about the whole sorry exercise and pray that all my egg sharing tests are clear so I can have IVF.  I imagine that will be a whole lot less stressful than this exercise has been.  I mean, IVF isn’t stressful at all, right?

“You will never get married. You are CURSED!”

I distinctly remember that being the statement made to Charlotte in Sex and the City after she went downtown to a dubious fortune teller with limited English who then promised that for a hundred dollars she could remove the curse.

I had something similar happen to me today.

In the course of my Wembley Curry Odyssey (my latest challenge, which naturally involves eating in every Indian Restaurant in the ‘hood to see which one is best, so that I can look like a veritable Curry Expert to visiting dignitaries such as members of my family and close personal friends, should they ever deign to visit me in North West London) I found myself popping into my local coffee place for a quick takeaway coffee (the coffee isn’t great, but it’s the only place in the Greater Wembley area that does lattes).  The coffee kiosk is located in a shopping centre of sorts, with a dubious-sounding name like Wembley Plaza, and I found myself staring down the forbidding looking corridor right at a board advertising palm readings.

I’m not quite sure what I expected-to my disappointment Mystic Meg wasn’t sat outside gazing eerily up at me from her crystal ball-but I tiptoed along the corridor to see a small woman in a headscarf, apparently locked inside with no customers.

I knocked on the door and enquired how much a palm reading cost, to which the woman answered £10, so I decided to go ahead, given that the maintenance on the building must have been less than that on the seaside resort gypsy caravans one finds on the ends of piers that usually cost twice the price.

She then phoned the “pandit” who does the readings, apparently he’d just popped out to buy a newspaper-it must have been a slow day-and asked me to write my name and date of birth on a piece of paper, as well as asking me how many people lived in my house (bizarre), the names of my parents and siblings and my occupation.  After she’d done this an awkward silence descended as we waited for the pandit so I decided to make small talk by asking her if she lived in Wembley.  She took off her headscarf and answered, “No, I have plait,” showing me her plaited hair.

Not quite sure what she thought I’d said there.

Anyway, fortunately the pandit arrived shortly afterwards and told me my lucky number was seven (isn’t everyone’s?) and showed off his psychic skills by the fact that he had written this down before I had even said it (he had asked me to name a number between one and nine).   He then examined my hands before revealing the following not-at-all obvious or general truths (bear in mind he already knew my name, age, occupation and marital status, and that I lived alone).

1.) I am from a good family, my parents were kind hearted and raised me to be the same.
2.) My family are neither rich nor poor, but of the “middling sort.”
3.) I have a good education.
4.) At the moment, I spend all the money I earn.

The latter not terribly difficult to work out given the fact that I’d just spent ten of my hard-earned pounds paying a charlatan I’ve never met before in a room filled with pictures of Hindu gods to tell me all about my personality and potential future.

He then went on to say that I would be fine financially, and that I would be able to afford a car and two houses (yes, TWO.  This was totally the best thing he said.  I am so getting another property).

And then he said that people were jealous of me and were talking about me behind my back and giving me the “Evil Eye.”  He went on about this for AGES AND AGES.  I was hoping he would get off the topic and tell me something more interesting.  Like, for example, that I was going to be a world-famous novelist, or meet a tall, dark handsome stranger (that old chestnut) or start popping out some babies in the near future, but all he could bang on about was these “bad people” who were giving me the Evil Eye and how this was hindering my general progress in life.

He also said my love life was pretty bad, so at least there was some truth to his ramblings.

He then said that I could purchase some spells and prayers to help combat the Evil Eye.  In fact, he basically said that I could pay him to do some yoga and he would get rid of the Evil Eyes for me.

PAY HIM TO DO SOME BLOODY YOGA???!!!

I politely declined, and enquired about more pressing matters, such as whether I should change my job (he asked if this was because I didn’t like my colleagues, perhaps hinting that it was they who were giving me the Evil Eye, then when I answered that it was just that I’d been there a while and fancied a change he was really vague and implied that whatever I did would be fine and I’d still get the car and the two houses.  Very important that, the two houses).

I also asked if I would get married, and to my abject horror, he answered straight away that I had already missed two chances to do this.

TWO CHANCES!  My life flashed before me, trying to think when these two chances might have been.  Was I drunk?  Did I sleep with them too soon and they ran off, these potential husbands?  The pandit just muttered something about the “planets not being aligned.”  Yeah, right.

Lastly, I asked him the all-important question of whether I would have children.  He examined my hands thoroughly, squinting to see if there were any lines which presumably indicated my future possible children.  I swear we used to do something similar in primary school.

Finally, just as I thought he was going to tell me I’d missed my chances at that as well, he said I had “five or six” chances ahead of me, and of these potential children, two were boys and the rest girls.

I’d better get a wiggle on, as my good-hearted and middle class parents would say.