Blogtober - Day 9 - On Turning 31

So predictably I've missed a couple of days of Blogtober but in my defence it has been my birthday weekend and I've spent most of it either busy, drunk or hungover. So blogging wasn't at the forefront of my mind (my bad).

Turning 31 wasn't as painful as I expected. I still remember looking at people in their thirties when I was a teenager and thinking how mature and together they seemed. If your twenties are for dicking about and getting drunk then your thirties are the decade in which you surely should be settling down and getting old gracefully, right? Hasn't really worked out that way for me but there's still time!

I started off my weekend with a post-school run buffet breakfast with my mum tribe who got me some amazing gifts and, unbeknownst to me, ordered prosecco with breakfast! Afterwards I went to get my hair pinked and that evening had a lovely meal out with Jack, my parents and grandparents. On Saturday Jack went to his dads and so I mooched into town where I met a friend for lunch and got my nails done then on Saturday night I had a party at home before venturing into town. Sadly, I haven't got wiser with age, drank my weight in wine and had to go home to bed before I'd even had chance to fling myself around a sticky dance floor to Chelsea Dagger. Sunday was consequently a complete write off but overall it was a really fun weekend.

One thing I've taken from turning 31 is trying to not get too hung up on age related expectations. A lot of my friends are now at the stage where they're getting married and having babies. All of that seems pretty far away for me again now and of course that plays on my mind from time to time. But I've learnt to just crack on, try to make the most of everyday and wait and see what the future holds. You never know what's around the corner.

So here's to 31. Hope it's a good one.

Blogtober - Day 6 - Pink Hair Don't Care

They say that your thirties are the decade in which you stop caring about what other people think about you, become more comfortable in your own skin and embrace your identity. Well I turn 31 tomorrow and am fully adopting that idea.

Today, as a little birthday present to me from me, I had my hair done and went a glorious shade of pink. I've always liked brightly coloured hair but never thought I could pull it off (still not convinced). But it wasn't my thoughts that worried me, it was other peoples. Would they think I looked daft? Like  was trying too hard? Mutton? Now, I think sod it. Life is too short to spend your time worrying about what other people think. The only feelings and opinions that matter are your own and those close to you. So now I have pink hair and I quite literally don't care!

Super quick blog post tonight as I'm heading out for a birthday meal with the family. Have you ever dyed your hair any crazy colours?

Blogtober - Day 5 - Finding My Mum Tribe

2017 hasn't been a great year for me but one of the more positive things to come out of it has been finding my mum tribe. That very term would have been something I'd have eyerolled at a few months ago but I feel it really does apply to us...we are all mums and we do have a tribe in the sense that we protect each other and have our own weird little customs that other people probably wouldn't understand. Sounds wanky, probably is a bit wanky...but true.

One of the mums in the tribe has been a friend of mine for years. In fact we played together as kids ourselves because our mums were also friends. We lost touch for a few years then reconnected when we fell pregnant at the same time. She introduced me to two of her friends and we all also met another mum on the school run. Over time our playground natters developed into play dates, coffee and nights out. Now a day rarely passes without us speaking in group chat or nipping in for a brew.

Here are just a couple of things I love about my mum tribe.

The kids
Thankfully our kids all get along amazingly and love spending time together. Naturally there's the odd tiff here and there but they genuinely have a great relationship and all play so nicely together. It's lovely to think that they are forming childhood friendships that will hopefully stand the test of time and give them good memories to look back on together. And it's lovely for us to bond and form relationships with each others kids too. My friend's little girl now tells me I'm her best friend (Jack gets a little huffy about this occasionally) which is so sweet.

The laughs
I tend to find that I gravitate towards people who can make me laugh and my mum pals certainly do that. Even if it is in some questionable making lewd creations out of party food (think what you can do with two scotch eggs and a cocktail sausage) to entertain one another at yet another child's party.

The support
Even now, five years on, I still doubt myself as a mother sometimes. It's nice to have like minded people to discuss your parenting woes and worries with. There have been so many times where one of us has crashed group chat with a 'OMG WHAT SHALL I DO?!' message if the kids are poorly/upset/throwing a batshit cray cray tantrum in Tesco. It's nice to have the opinion and guidance of other mums to help you figure out how to make it through the minefield that is parenting successfully.

The company
As humans we thrive from interaction with other people. It's nice to have someone to talk to in the playground or at a kids party. But this year my mum tribe have helped to take away my loneliness in other ways and that's something I'm truly grateful for.

Blogtober - Day 4 - The Ultimate Halloween Playlist

In last night's post I mentioned that we have a few Halloween parties penciled in for the end of the month. Two of these are children's parties. You know the kind - sweaty church hall, balloons popping,  hot dogs, lots of over excited children dressed as small demons fighting each other while off their heads on fruit shoots etc etc. Thankfully the third party (due to take place slightly earlier on the 14th) is an adult's only affair and I have been tasked with creating the ultimate playlist. This is what I've got so far:

Upon arrival (cool songs to entice the guests in)
Highway to Hell - AC/DC
I'm on fire - Kasabian
Bulletproof - La Roux
Shake Senora (from Beetlejuice)

Timeless classics (gimmicks and songs that nobody really likes that much anymore but it's the law to play them at Halloween)
Thriller - Michael Jackson
Ghostbusters theme tune
Timewarp - Rocky Horror Picture Show
Monster mash - Bobby Pickett

Bangers (for when the party is in full swing)
Disturbia - Rihanna
She-wolf - Shakira
The monster - Eminem
Tainted Love - Marilyn Manson
Poison - Alice Cooper

Winding down tunes (a polite way of indicating it's time to bugger off home)
I miss you - Blink 182
Ghosts - Laura Marling
I put a spell on you - Nina Simone
Stay - Shakespeare's Sister (because Cher Lloyd sang it on X Factor and it was proper haunting)

So there you have it, there's still work to be done and any other spooky themed songs you can think of would be gratefully received. I can see me milking this Halloween party theme during Blogtober...I've also been tasked with cocktail making but that can be another post!

Blogtober - Day 3 - Things I Love About October

I've always been a fan of October. Not only is it the official start of autumn - my favourite season by far - but my birthday also falls on the 7th of this month so, for me, October has always been synonymous with presents and parties and love. But what else is great about the month ahead? Well...

Halloween has come on leaps and bounds since our childhood hasn't it? It's such a big deal now. The world and his wife are planning Halloween parties and Jack is already barking orders at me regarding this year's costume. It seems that bin bags with arm holes and plastic masks from Poundstretcher just aren't cutting it anymore. Nevertheless, it's a really fun time of year and with three pagan parties already penciled in this year, it's set to be a good one!

We're lucky to live close to a big park that's perfect for conker hunting. Last year someone told me that putting conkers around your doors and windows deters spiders from coming in the house so we tend to use them for this rather than soaking them in vinegar and tying them to shoelaces. My bad.

Turning the heating on
My stepdad has always actively enforced a no-central-heating-before-October rule and while I'm not nearly so strict about it in my own house, I do still tend to feel a bit guilty about turning the heating on too early in the year. Now it's October there's a definite chill in the air so it's perfectly acceptable to crank dat shit up...not to mention starting to wear snuggly jumpers, oversized scarves and ridiculous bobble hats again. YASSS!

It's such a cliche but there is something a bit magical about watching the leaves change colour and the trees go bare. Jack still loves to don his wellies and go for muddy stomps in the park where we invariably end up coming home with a selection of red/brown/yellow/green/orange leaves and roughly 47 twigs that look like wands/swords/golf clubs etc.

My birthday
Did I mention it's my birthday this Saturday? Turning 31 feels significantly worse than turning 30 because I'm now officially into my thirties instead of just being on the cusp. Last year I tried to make loads of plans, none of which really came to fruition so this year I'm just winging it and hoping for the best. I'm confident there'll be cake and booze and really, what more do you need in life?

So there you have it, a very Blogtobery, Octobery themed post. What do you love about October?

Blogtober - Day 2 - Life Lately

As it's been roughly a million years since I posted, I thought it's only polite to start Blogtober with a little life update of what's been going on in our world over the past year.

I guess the main change is that I've found myself a single mama again. I'm not one for writing about personal stuff on the internet (barring the odd, shameless subtweet or passive aggressive meme...not sorry) but given that the overall theme of this blog is family orientated it seems a little odd to skip over it altogether. I've done the whole single mother thing before but Jack was a baby then. Don't get me wrong it was still challenging but in a different way. Now the physical logistics of parenting, working, school runs, appointments, assemblies, freelancing, cooking, cleaning, attending children's parties (seriously, there seems to be one every week) and trying to maintain some sort of social life are a juggling act like no other. It's exhausting but I've found a lot of comfort in being ridiculously busy to be honest. I'm just not sure how sustainable it is!

Jack is now in year 1 and still enjoying school. I've found that there seems to have been a lot less communication now that he's moved up. I guess when they start foundation there's a lot of open days and inductions whereas this time I haven't even seen his classroom or properly met his teacher. Trying to get information out of him is as fruitless as ever...if I ask what his teacher is like his usual answer is 'nice with a long ponytail' but that's where the character statement ends. Still, he is progressing well and seems happy enough.

This coming Saturday I turn 31 and it feels like a lot has changed since my last birthday. 2017 has been a year of surprises and change - not always good. The future seems a lot more uncertain than it did this time last year but in a way I guess that's exciting. The other day I got a fortune cookie with the message 'happier days are definitely ahead of you' so I'm going with that for now.

Bit of a random second post for Blogtober and probably of no interest whatsoever to most people reading this, but it feels good to be writing again. I can't promise the content I produce this month is going to get much better but as long as the words are flowing I feel like it's progress!

See you tomorrow when I'll try and have a more October-y themed post lined up.

Blogtober - Day 1 - Make or break

Six months has passed since my last blog post. And six months had passed before the one prior to that. That's two posts in a year. I am a terrible blogger.

The truth is, this isn't the first time that this has happened. More than once now I've found myself being super enthusiastic about starting a new blog, really dedicating myself to it for a few months then rapidly losing interest. A lot of this comes from my own self deprecating nature - I tend to write content then re-read it a few months later, hate it, cringe at it, delete it and make a solemn oath never to write again. Hence none of my blogs have ever stood the test of time.

But I miss writing. So I've made a last minute decision to go from one massive extreme to another and attempt to take part in Blogtober - one post every day for the full month of October (very last minute given the first day is almost over, oops).

I'll be honest, I probably won't make it. And I can't promise that the stuff I write is going to be very inspiring or interesting. I'm a little out of practice and this is, after all, more posts in a month than I've probably written since my blog began. But maybe it'll kick start my love of blogging again and just encourage me to write something...anything!

Watch this space.