Children, Comedy, Funny, Humour, Parenting

You Have to Laugh Tag

As a member of the SmileSquad I was tagged by the amazing folk at You Have to Laugh  into their new shiny #youhavetolaughtag. It’s all about being able to smile and have a laugh about the many trials and tribulations of parenting.

Here are my responses;

1) Fill in the gap: Before I had children I never …..

…imagined I would get asked so many questions or deal with as much poo before 7am.

2) What is the most annoying toy that your child owns or has owned and why?

Generally anything electronic bearing the words VTech. However, there is a particularly annoying cat shaped keyboard my son owns which makes me want to frantically rip my ears off.

3) Would you rather be covered in poo or covered in puke?

My logic tells me that if I were to be covered in poo then it would probably result in me also being covered in my own sick, whereas if I was covered in sick then I’d only be topping that up with further sick rather than a mix of both. It’s a lose lose situation quite frankly.

4) Is Peppa Pig more annoying than Postman Pat is bad at his job? Discuss.

I have a bit of a confession, I really like Peppa Pig, for one she keeps my son incredibly entertained and most importantly occupied. I also quite like the fact my son has a giant fairy Peppa Pig soft toy which drives his dad nuts “It’s pink and it’s got a bloody wand!” Shove your Transformers up your jaxy daddy this boy is in touch with his feminine side. Postman Pat on the other hand does irritate me, he’s fairly shoddy at his job and spends more time getting stuck in trees than actually delivering post.

5) What time constitutes a lie-in in your house now and how does this compare to your pre-child days?

7:00 – 7:30am is generally when the small people make their presence known. Usually by bouncing on us in bed or announcing loudly “It’s morning time” or “I need a wee”. If it’s a weekend we have been known to utilise the power that is Peppa Pig on the iPad for an extra half an hour or so.

6) What is your favourite swear word or swear word combo and when was the last time you used it?

I’m a bit like the Will Smith (without the rapping, acting or being a bloke) of blogging, I go easy on the swears, but if the occasion calls for it and it enhances the context then I may have a moment of potty mouth. Cockwomble. There we go.

7) Tell us your worst ever nappy or potty training experience.

Every nappy or potty training experience is the worst but the moment that will always be engraved on my mind is when both my sons (at the time 2 and new-born) both had well, shall we say particularly loose bottoms. I’ve never seen or had to ‘deal’ with quite as much brown stuff in my life. To make matters worse I decided to take them both out in the double buggy for some fresh air.  That would have been completely fine had I not forgotten the wipes and only realised this when I was too far from home…. ARGHHH! Cue one exploding toddler stood in the middle of a park with no toilets in sight. I had to use another nappy to clear up the mess whilst his brother screamed on the account of a separate explosion. It was stressful to say the least and there was a lot of washing put in the machine and wine consumed that night.

8) There is no electricity and won’t be for the next week. NONE. After eating the contents of the freezer (assuming you have a gas cooker) what the hell do you do with yourself?

If the electricity issue was only at my house then I would go to the gym / local pool a lot, not just for fitness but to utilise their warm showers. If the electricity issue was worldwide, I’d track down Bear Grylls and basically do what he tells me to.

9) If you didn’t need the money and didn’t have a little one what would you spend your days doing?

I would travel the world, drive a Mustang, eat/drink too much, dance a lot and relax. As much as I moan about the whinging constant questioning and lack of time for myself, I wouldn’t swap my life. I intend to do it all when I retire and the kids have flown the nest *sob* anyway.

10) If squirrels ruled the world, what do you think would be the advantages and disadvantages?

That’s just nuts!

Advantages:

  1. President Squirrel would have more brains and personality than the current president
  2. There’d be a lot of hidden things to find which would be quite fun, it’d be like an ongoing episode of Funhouse
  3. You could bribe them with nuts
  4. Who wouldn’t want to see a squirrel in a suit?

Disadvantages:

  1. You’d never be able to find your keys or most things for that matter
  2. Dentist bills would increase, have you seen their teeth?
  3. They’d ban words such as squirrelling as they would be derogatory terms
  4. Scrat would have a lot more competition for his nuts

11) If you could have anyone round for dinner, alive or dead, which 3 people would you choose? (NB – If you pick a dead person they would be alive during dinner – you wouldn’t just be dining with a corpse. That would be creepy)

Tom Hanks, Will Ferrell, and Will Smith. Amazing actors and all round lovely chaps. It would be a night of laughter, plenty of dancing to ‘Jump on It’, and lots of interesting tales to be told.

12) What is your favourite funny blog post ever (your own, or someone else’s)?

My favourite blog post ever has to be My Womb is a Squash and a Squeeze by Rhyming with Wine, it’s a parody of the well-known story A Squash and a Squeeze. What can I say about the amazing Dawn? She and her blog are absolutely bloody wonderful. She is the Julia Donaldson of the blogging world. Her posts are so cleverly put together and very relatable. Dawn is a real talent and most definitely someone to look out for. Clever, witty and hilarious, if you haven’t read her posts already then get over to her site (www.rhymingwithwine.com) right now and you’ll know what I mean. Did I mention we wrote a children’s book? Keep your eyes open for that one.

Lastly and purely to plug my own Blog I would say my best (and most recent) post is SuperKids which I also drew the illustrations for. I hope you like it.

So, there you have it, I hope you laughed.

Time for you to carry the baton;

Squidge and Boo

Educating Roversi

Grumblings of a SAHM

  • Copy and paste the twelve questions below into your own blog, or if you don’t have a blog, just do it on Facebook. Or the back of your bus ticket.
  • Answer them.
  • At the end of your post, tag at least 3 bloggers/friends who you’d like to fill out the #YouHaveToLaugh tag and let them know!
  • Add two of your very own questions and remove two that you don’t like as much from the original list – it’s all about evolution.
  • Use the badge code at the bottom of this post in your own post so that people can click to see this page and these rules!
  • Let us know when your post is up by tagging us on Twitter with #youhavetolaughtag at @youhave2laugh and we will retweet it. We’ll also link to it below in this very post so your answers could be seen by everyone else in the world who completes the tag! We could be talking literally  tens of people!

The questions:

  • 1) Fill in the gap: Before I had children I never …..
  • 2) What is the most annoying toy that your child owns or has owned and why?
  • 3) Would you rather be covered in poo or covered in puke?
  • 4) Is Peppa Pig more annoying than Postman Pat is bad at his job? Discuss.
  • 5) What’s the funniest question your child has asked you?
  • 6) What is your favourite swear word or swear word combo and when was the last time you used it?
  • 7) Tell us your worst ever nappy or potty training experience.
  • 8) What is the funniest thing that has happened to you as a parent?
  • 9) If you didn’t need the money and didn’t have a little one what would you spend your days doing?
  • 10) If squirrels ruled the world, what do you think would be the advantages and disadvantages?
  • 11) If you could have anyone round for dinner, alive or dead, which 3 people would you choose? (NB – If you pick a dead person they would be alive during dinner – you wouldn’t just be dining with a corpse. That would be creepy)
  • 12) What is your favourite funny blog post ever (your own, or someone else’s)?


 

Babies, Baby, Brothers, Children, Comedy, Family, Funny, Housewife, Living with Kids, Love, Mom, Mommy, Mum, Mummy, Mummy Blogger, Mums, Parenting, Smiling, Toddler, Toddlers, Uncategorized

10 Things I Hate* About Two

*Hate’s a very strong word, I much prefer ‘dislike’ or ‘don’t really enjoy’, but let’s face it they wouldn’t have the same ring would they?

This is in no way related to Heath Ledger or Julia Stiles, no this is my honest take on why having two children can be, well shall we say – challenging. I often look back to when I had the one and there’s no doubt about it, it was hard, bloody hard, but if I really think about it I had so much more opportunity to nap and watch This Morning than I do now. Oh how I miss you Phil and Holly.

So here are the 10 things I ‘don’t really enjoy’ about having two little people.

1. It’s about as rare as an eclipse when both children have a nap at the same time. The only way it’s possible (or at least in my experience) is to drive around in the car playing Classic FM like a 95 year old lady called Doris on her way to the local garden centre. Believe me it works.

The difficulty then is managing to get them both successfully out of the car and transferred into their beds. It almost always ends with one of them waking up, so the feet up – cup of coffee in hand – Come Dine with Me afternoon session I had ambitiously planned is swiftly cancelled. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love playing and chasing around after my boys but just 30 mins peace without having to answer one hundred and one questions would be lovely. In reality what do I do when the ‘rare eclipse’ strikes? I clean and tidy.

2. Multi-tasking like you’ve never multi-tasked before. It’s a skill we have to adopt because we have no other choice. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve been in a situation where one hand is wiping a poopy bum and the other’s preventing the toddler from doing his best impression of Eddie the Eagle. Parents have to have reflexes like a cat. I’ve never felt more like a ninja in my life. 3. My toddler hasn’t quite grasped the fact his younger brother isn’t a toy. There have been a few occasions where I’ve caught him riding his brother like a sad donkey on the beach. The words ‘gentle‘, ‘careful‘ or the phrase ‘get off your brother‘ have never been used as much.  4. Two lots of I nappies (granted not all of you will have this issue, some of you sensibly waited). I remember one particular morning changing six nappies after only been up for an hour. How is it possible for such small people to produce so much poo? Nowadays my toddler is toilet trained so this thankfully is no longer an issue. Just the one set of nappies to deal with, phew!

However, this has now brought around a new ‘challenge’. My son always chooses incredibly inconvenient times to do a ‘poo dance’ and announce loudly for all to hear “I need a poo!” mainly when I’ve either got his baby brother fast asleep in my arms (after a long time of him fighting sleep), or when we’re out and we’ve just conveniently sat down with lunch, only to have to awkwardly abandon it and single handedly juggle belongings, a baby, and a wincing toddler to a tiny loo. Let’s face it the poo was never going to be a good thing was it? 5. One of the hardest challenges for a parent is to get through the day without getting some form of food or bodily function smeared on their clothing. As the ‘owner’ of two boys, this tends to involve a lot snot, where the chuff does it all come from? If snot could be mined they could make a base at our house, and I would be one rich lady.

With two boys in tow I have double the smearage occurrence and quadruple the amount of household washing to deal with. I love spending my days filling the washer and drier (said no mum ever!). Although it has to be said I’ve become more accustomed (doesn’t have any other option so has just accepted) having that extra accessory of banana smear, or snot splatter. Who knows it could catch on. I’ll wait for your call Vivienne. 6. The noise, oh god the noise. The decibel level has certainly escalated since we first moved into our new house. At that time we had a relatively quite one and a half year old and I was seven months pregnant (yes I know we didn’t mess about, and yes moving when heavily pregnant was not the most exhilarating moment of my life, it was flaming stressful). So I imagine our neighbour thought we were a nice quiet little family to live next door to. Wrong!

The first noise worthy experience he had to endure was listening to me whining and mooing like a cow at 4am as the contractions were kicking in – one hospital trip later and BOOM! Welcome to Noisetown.

My youngest was a pretty chilled baby and sound sleeper, however the standard loud hungry baby cries he did at all hours of the night/morning weren’t the most enjoyable. If the mother and father of the child struggle to cope with the noise then I can’t imagine the neighbour was loving it much either.

Next on the noise counter was my fast growing toddler who mastered the fine (but not very likeable) art of winging. Again if even the mother of the child can’t appreciate their own flesh and bloods constant “I don’t wannnntttt thaaaaaattttt!“, “I wannnntttt thaaaaaattttt!“, “Noooooooooooooo“, “Whaaaaaaaaaaaa!“, then my poor bugger of a neighbour certainly isn’t going to either. To compliment the winging there’s also the occasional (OK then, daily) case of ‘parent losing their shit’ noise.

But those still aren’t the worst of the noises he has to endure. No, the worse noise can usually be heard around 7:20pm – 7:30pm, and comes from the mouth of the lesser spotted singing mum, also known as me attempting to sing Feed the Birds to the boys. (Less Mary Poppins more Makeit Stoppins). So I’m sorry neighbour, I’d love to tell you it’s going to quieten down, but the reality is soon there will be two wingers once my little one enters the twonager/threenager zone. I’ve heard Boots sell some pretty good earplugs, you may want to invest.

7. Both of my son’s have an obsession with hiding things. If I could compare them to an animal they would be squirrels. Squirrels hide nuts, well my children hide just about anything they can get their hands on. On occasion the selected object in question has rather inconveniently been my keys, and always on a day when I’m in a rush to get out of the house. When my eldest was about twenty months old I caught him looking rather sheepish whilst standing near my relatively expensive speakers. Having remembered music was starting to sound a bit tinny, I put two and two together and decided to get my Mrs Marple head on. After shining a torch in the back of the speaker I discovered a plethora of items, I’m talking pens, golf balls, small knick knacks, toys, cars, a stylus, you name it, it was in there. After a lot of vigorous shaking and probing with some BBQ tongs the little hoarders stash had been retrieved. The speakers have never fully recovered, but they’re now out of reach from the ‘little squirrels’.

My ‘little squirrels’ secret hiding place

 

The plethora of stashed items found in the speaker

 

8. I am a nag nag. A double nag. One of my most used words is “No”, along with the phrases, “Please don’t do that”, “Get off that”, “Can you stop doing that please?”. This is one of the parts of motherhood I really don’t enjoy, in fact I’d go as far to say I actually hate it. I really didn’t want to be a naggy mum but when one of your children is constantly pressing the sky record button (we have a lot of random Part Rec programmes in our planner), whilst the other decides it’s a good idea to smudge his bananarey hands all over the sofa, then Mrs Naggy McNaggyson from Nagthorpe has to make an appearance.  In the past I’ve read a few articles about alternative ways to say no, but when your kid’s about to jump off the top of the slide head first “Please could you refrain from jumping off the top of the slide darling” just doesn’t cut the mustard, because ultimately the kids probably already committed to it, then cue a mammoth wait in A&E and a potential mark on the social services risk register. However nagging does have it’s uses, let’s face it if there was no such thing as nagging then there would be a lot of unpaid bills, and half done jobs (not a dig to you hubby obviously😂).

9. You have to choose. I don’t mean as to which child is your favourite (that varies on behaviour obviously), I mean there are situations where you have to balance out their needs and make an on the spot decision. I’d liken it to a game of Top Trumps. For this example I shall rename it ‘Tot Trumps’. ‘Toddler doing poo dance’ vs ‘Baby touching TV remote’. Now let’s see the stats:

Toddler Doing Poo Dance

  • Risk Factor: 95
  • Danger Level: 95
  • Speed: 70
  • Whinge Volume: 85

Baby Touching TV Remote

  • Risk Factor: 60
  • Danger Level: 20
  • Speed: 80
  • Whinge Volume: 65

The toddlers needs win on this occasion. Deleting an unwanted programme on the Sky planner not a problem, having to scrape poo off the living room floor? I’ll pass thanks.  10. When we just had the one baby waking up in the night, the hubby and I were a little more inclined to leave him for a bit to ‘cry it out’, or at least do that thing most couples do and have a ‘stand off’ (or should that be ‘lay off’) and wait for the other to make the move. Nowadays as soon as a hint of a decent cry emerges we’re quicker than Mo Farah after eating a bowl full of Quorn to react and ensure their cries don’t wake the other. After all what’s worse than a child waking up at 2am the night before you’re up early for work? Two children awake at 2am the night before you’re up early for work. So there you have it, those are my 10 Things I ‘Hate’ About Two, but it’s not all Tot Trumps, squirrels and noise. The tight Yorkshire lass in me is incredibly happy that we saved a flipping fortune on clothes and toys etc. Even though I know the pain of a second child all too well (having to endure the bobbly unfashionable hand me downs, getting the second hand bike, etc.) I’m now the sensible(ish) parent trying to be careful with money, so I’m pleased the clothes we bought and gratefully received for my first born have been used again and they’ve both got their wear out of them.

Ultimately the best thing about having two children is that my son has now got a buddy to share his childhood with. He has a friend, a best mate, a Robin to his Batman, an Ant to his Dec, and vice versa. Watching them play together is a wonderful thing, it makes me go all mushy (when they’re not having the “I was playing with that”, “Mummy, he took it off me” sharing issues).

We’ve made two beautiful boys and we couldn’t be prouder, even though our house permanently smells like farts.

Love you boys X

There is no Buddy like a Brother
Rhyming with Wine
Rhyming with Wine
Cuddle Fairy
Petite Pudding
ethannevelyn
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

 

 

Babies, Baby, Children, Christmas, Family, Friends, Home, Love, Mummy, Mummy Blogger, Music, Parenting, Smiling, Toddler, Toddlers, Uncategorized

You’re the Love of My Life

It’s Christmas Day, ready to burst from feasting on umpteen sprouts (pppparrrrppp), lashings of mash, spoonfuls of stuffing, and enough turkey to feed a baby T-Rex, we all plonk ourselves down on the sofa with a Prosseco in hand (apart from the kids of course, they had beer, just kidding!) The kids were happily playing with their new toys and gifts whilst we lovingly watched them. Without realising the time had slipped away my mum starts giving the indication they’re going to think about making a move, not a chance, tis the season to be jolly and all that. As a result my barmaid alter ego jumped to a start, and glasses were quickly filled (that should hold them a little longer), then cue my other alter ego, DJ Wobbles (Wobbles by name wobbles by nature, especially after a few bubbles).

With Spotify at my disposal I proceeded to put some tunes on to get them into the ‘Christmas spirit’. I started my musical journey with Sash! taking us back to 1997 playing classics such as Equador, Stay and Encore Une Fois, they may be 18 years old but they’d still get the young uns up dancing I have no doubt. My parents took a liking to Sash! during my teen years and have still been known to dance around their living room to it, so this had to be a surefire winner. DJ Wobbles 1 – 0 Parents.

Next let’s turn it up a notch and open up for requests. One sure fire way to win people over with music is to allow them to make requests and let the memories flow. If there’s one thing that can spark a memory off, it’s music. So there we were transported back to the days of my long haired rocker of a dad listening to the likes of Yes, Cream, and Derek and the Dominos. One thing I can confirm is that my dad has good choice in music. Who can deny it with the acoustic riffs from songs such as Layla, Roundabout, and Sunshine Of Your Love. So from such epic music what did DJ Wobbles put on next? Whip Nae Nae of course, yes I know terrible terrible music, and such a drastic change, but my son can’t half bust a move to it, and yes for a moment I was that pushy ‘look at what my son can do’ mum I always said I wouldn’t be. Next two more of his favourites, Sugarhill Gang – Rappers Delight and Apache, we had to let him have a bit of the limelight, and boy did he steal it. Ashley Banjo, watch your back 😉

Next a few numbers for my very glamorous mum, a bit of Donna Summer, Hot Stuff. A classic and it will never cease to remind me of the brilliant moment in The Full Monty when they’re all queueing up and thrusting. On the back of the 70’s vibe we moved onto the fantastic and very catchy Earth, Wind, and Fire – September, then up to the 80’s with a bit of Borderline by Madonna with the necessary sprinkling of the wonderful Michael Jackson all teamed with my questionable and probably incredibly crap looking dance moves. All dance moves were learnt courtesy of my favourite Wii game, The Michael Experience. (Hopefully my neighbours haven’t had to witness this too, although my son was once on the receiving end of the Wii controller due to my rather enthusiastic ‘Heeeheee!’ move. Sorry son). Anyway I digress.

So next we moved onto our wedding songs, meaning the tone softened especially when my dad whispered in my ear “Play Carly Simon – Love of My Life, your mum will like that“. If you haven’t heard this song then I can’t urge you enough to listen to it. It’s so beautiful. The song was inspired by her children.

From the moment I first saw you,

The second that you were born,

I knew that you were the love of my life,

Quite simply the love of my life

As I listened to the lyrics snuggled with my baby I looked over at my dad who was cuddling and singing the song to my toddler. I remembered my dad singing in the same way to me as a little girl, and do you know what it doesn’t really seem that long ago. Time simply goes too quickly. It’s only since I’ve had my boys that I’ve started to understand this. I remember when I was pregnant people always used to say “Treasure it, time goes so quickly“, it used to get right on my baps, but they were right, it’s so true.

So anyway, there I was listening to the beautiful lyrics and reminiscing, then my eyes leaked (yep I cried like a baby), now it’s very likely Prosecco had a certain influence as it does in many a moment, but I was so happy to be sharing Christmas with some of the most loved people in my life, my boys, husband and parents. I felt lucky we were all sharing that moment together as it could have been a different story a few years ago, thankfully it wasn’t. That’s all well and good for me I know, unfortunately some are not so fortunate and my heart truly goes out to them. This is why we really have to make the most of our lives, and not take our family and friends for granted, we just don’t know when it might all change.

That moment also made me realise my babies are growing up so quickly and before I know it I’ll be the grandparent singing to my grandchild (but yeah let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves).
Basically it was an episode of Back to the Future but without Doc, a Hoverboard, or clocktower in sight. I was Martina McFly blasted back to the past as a little girl seeing my mum and dad care and nurture for me like I’m doing now for my boys. The realisation that they’ve been there and done it all for me and my sister. All the times they’ve wiped my backside (as a baby of course), cleaned up my sick (again as a baby with the occasional later life mishap I’m sure), told me not to touch ornaments and had a cheeky response back, had to deal with a moody teenager that would have given Kevin (and Perry) a run for his money, and worried themselves sick about me one night as I hadn’t come home at curfew only to find I was at a ‘lock in’ at the local caravan site pub until 2.30am because I was trying to look ‘cool’ and be accepted. I didn’t end up looking ‘cool’ as I remember walking back to the caravan with my ‘friends’ and seeing a tall silhouette holding an umbrella walking towards us at a fast pace, it was my dad and I was in big trouble. Dad 1-0 Streetcred. Looking back I cringe because I now know how they must’ve felt. Their baby who they’d lovingly brought up could have been in the bottom of a ditch, luckily I wasn’t, I was completely oblivious, just a moody teenager who wanted acceptance. So now as a thirty something mum of two, I want to apologise to my mum and dad for all of the times I’ve hurt, scared, or worried you. I now fully understand why you wouldn’t occasionally let me go out, or nagged me about not smoking and doing drugs (which I have never done as a result), because you love me, and even now, I’m still your baby.

You moulded me into the person I am today (which I think is a good, bar the odd dozy remark or situation), so thank you and I hope we can raise our boys in the same way you did with my sister and I.

So as I sat there and listened to the lyrics I realised the love of my life isn’t just my husband*, or the two little men in my life**, it’s my parents, my sister, my extended family, and my friends. They are all the love of my life. All for different reasons, but I love them so much and I am very lucky they are part of my life.

One of the reasons I’ve wrote this is because I’m not really capable of saying something like this directly to them without crying, and I’m not talking one of those beautiful single tear cries like in the movies or like Sinead O’Connor on the Nothing Compares music video, I’m talking full blown sobbing where my face goes red and puffy like I’ve had 10 rounds in the ring with Mike Tyson, not attractive.

So here it is (you know who you are), you are the love(s) of my life.

Gem x

*A man who puts up with me and my random brain farts on a daily basis, a man who could probably make Kanye West smile/laugh (no mean feat), a man who once fell asleep reading my blog (thanks for your support our lad), a man who still after all these years makes me weak at the knees, a man who is without a doubt my soulmate.
** My wonderful little poop machines, in the words of Jerry Maguire “You complete me“. I often look at them both in complete amazement. How did we create such smiley, funny, and handsome little people? They truly are a delight, then the baby voms and proceeds to create a masterpiece Tracy Emin would be proud of by wafting his hands in it, all done whilst the other farts and says “Might be a motorbike” (he’s mastered the art of denial already). Sick and trumps aside, one thing I’m sure of is I love the bones of those little men and will until the day I am no more.
TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs
TOTS100
ethannevelyn
Cuddle Fairy
Babies, kindness, Parenting, Smiling, Toddlers, Uncategorized

The Little Things

Little things, I am a big fan. I’m not talking about the One Direction song, Polly Pocket, or micro pigs (awww but look at his little red boots)I digress. No, I’m talking about the little things that can make someone smile, or simply turn a crap day into a great one. Little things that are quite frankly, magic.

Undoubtedly one of my favourite little things consists of two simple words – thank you. What I love about it, other than the obvious fact it’s good manners, is that there are so many different ways we can say it. A hug, a high five, a kiss (dependent on the receiver of course), a note, a gift, a letter, or a look.

Saying ‘Thank you’ is a very powerful thing, it can make a demotivated member of staff feel appreciated and valued, in turn motivating them to do a better job. A good example of this is how Sir Richard Branson looks after his employees. He’s a true believer in valuing his staff and saying thank you in various ways (be it bonuses, perks, awards, etc.).

I truly believe that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business – Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard, if you ever require someone who’s trained in Beauty Therapy, has worked in Customer Service for a number of years, is happy to wear a mascot outfit and dance around like a complete knob, is creative, and babbles a lot. Then I’m your gal!

On another note, I’ve had a few parcels/purchases sent to me in the post, and I absolutely love it when there’s a little card/note to say ‘thank you’. Simple, yet effective. Those two little words again have the power to win my loyalty and purchase more. Fickle I know, but what can I say, I’m a sucker for a little polite/friendly touch.

I like to think of myself as polite, so much so, I once thanked a cash machine when drawing some money out. Yup, it’s safe to say my mum and dad instilled the politeness trait in me from a young age. Myself and my husband have also encouraged our little boy to say his please and thank you’s, and now he is a fully fledged polite boy, well most of the time, if you ignore the occasional finger grovelling up the nostril. So remember, always say those two little words whether someone’s made you a cuppa, or saved your life. Thank you is magic.

One of my other favourite little things goes hand in hand with the first, smiling. Smiling and saying thank you, what a winning combination. Yes I know I’m starting to sound incredibly cheesy, but I genuinely really love smiling. When I was a little girl I remember being sat in the dentist reception waiting for my appointment and seeing the following poem;

Smiling is infectious,

You catch it like the flu,

When someone smiled at me today,

I started smiling too.

I passed around the corner,

And someone saw my grin.

When he smiled I realized

I’d passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile

then I realized its worth,

A single smile, just like mine

could travel round the earth.

So, if you feel a smile begin,

don’t leave it undetected

Let’s start an epidemic quick,

and get the world infected!

How good is that? It’s safe to say it had an impact on me, and now I can be regularly found with a smile upon my face. Most people happily smile back, but to be fair this could be because they’re scared and think I look a bit bonkers. However on the odd occasion the smiling has backfired, and some men have taken it as a ‘Well hey there, I’m smiling at you because I want to rip your clothes off‘, and not in the ‘Hi there, I hope you’re having a great day. Here’s a nice innocent none coming on to you smile for you to pass on to someone else‘ kind of way. So yes it’s important how you smile, because let’s face it, there’s a fine line between looking like a friendly happy smiley person or a crazed lunatic.

As the poem describes ‘smiling is infectious’, and it truly is. Picture this, you’re having a bad day, the moment you wake up everything has gone wrong, you open the fridge to discover there’s no milk for your morning tea/coffee, both your sons have filled their nappies more than three times with a stink even a pig wouldn’t admit to, you sneeze just after applying mascara (hello there panda), and then you discover a large piece of your favourite wallpaper lying on the floor next to a newly naked piece of wall. Just before you’re about to drop to your hands and knees and say ‘Nooooooooooooooooooo!’ You see this;
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You smile back, how can you not? All is well with the world. Crap day? What crap day? So there you have it, smiling is magic.

Lastly my other little thing is random acts of kindness. Now this one is  a little bit different, as it can vary from a small thing to something huge. So what do I define as a random act of kindness? It’s a selfless way to make another person smile, be happy, or feel valued/appreciated. One thing I tend to do a lot, is let anyone with only a few items go ahead of me at the supermarket, not an earth shattering thing to do I know,  but thoughtful, plus it means they don’t have to stand analysing what we’ll be eating for the next week. I also make a point of leaving good feedback if I feel a service provided has been particularly good, there’s no better motivator than receiving positive feedback.

A larger example of a random act of kindness is one I recently came across on a post shared on Facebook. A waitress called Liz Woodward from New Jersey left a note on the receipt for two fire-fighters.2AD9319500000578-3174789-image-m-24_1437880550835How lovely is that? But it didn’t end there. To show how much they appreciated it, the two fire-fighters did their own bit of research and found out Woodwards father was a quadriplegic and is bed bound. As a result the fire-fighters set up a GoFundMe page for him which is still receiving donations.

Something that a put a smile on my face recently was when I was travelling to York on the train. When the ticket officer came to check tickets, instead of the usual boring squiggle or tear, he drew a little smiley face on my ticket. Yes I know I’m very easily pleased, what can I say. But it certainly worked, and I like to think it made a fair few other people on the train smile to themselves too. Well done Mr Train Ticketman.

So whether it’s to buy a homeless person something to eat, taking your neighbours bins out, or helping someone struggling with their bags,  remember you’re helping to put a smile on another persons face, and there’s no better feeling than knowing you’ve brightened someone’s day. Who knows, your simple act of kindness may even change someone’s outlook or life.

My homework for you, is to be polite, smile and be kind, because after all kindness is (yep you’ve got it) magic.

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.

Dalai Lama
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Gem x