Friday, 29 March 2013

Feeling peachy and a couple of apps to keep my children busy last weekend .

 First of all I wanted to apologise for the lack of #daisychains regardings the apps the children were trying out - I will get round to it , in fact we have a few more reviews on their way so hope to have something fairly soon.
 In the meantime we were having a bit of a peach week having sourced a preloved designer prom dress and upcycling it with a bit of bling , this inspired the bespoke cake huge thanks to my talented cakey friend Nina as it matched beautifully.
Well it is Easter weekend and although I am all boxed up to hoping to be moved already. Frustrated with things . I did find a photo from when I had my first son and we used to make pompoms to sell them at Easter and deliver baskets made up with all sorts of fun filled things. This was our last Easter in the USA as by the next year things had taken a turn for the worse and we came home. This next one was taken in the homeless accommodation in which we took shelter  . Surrounded with boxes ready to move enjoying some more crafts and making the most of things . So here I sit surrounded by boxes awaiting news on a move date . The situation once more out of my hands . But thankfully my eldest has already moved out and has a place of his own and my other children are older and able to understand that this is a temporary state a mere hiccup along the way to a smoother life - or so I keep trying to convince myself .
Although I do have my days ! By Christmas of that same year we had been housed and we were still trying to be creative making our son a Bat cave and decorating empty boxes  to make it look more festive . We toughed it out then and and looking back I know I have to be sensible and just tough it out again. So back to my mummy ramblings -
So this year how have will I be keeping the children amused ? Well I decided to look into some apps and ask them each to find and that were free that they fancied and see what they could find that each of their siblings might also enjoy . 

 I gave the children a little nudge as we looked at recycling games there were several free  ones to choose from . The most popular was Recycle HD as it had a lot of information and was very easy to use and she liked seeing the instant rewards. She also did not have the frustration of getting it wrong and very soon was telling me about the game . My 11, 12 year old found the content too simple and yet they could see why she also chose recycle heroes too as whilst a bit young for either of them it did cause a fair bit of merriment as they each took a turn.

 Both apps were very infomative - I did not expect my 8 year old to explain to me that we should have packed using real popcorn like they used to but that it was okay that I had used old newspapers but not as much fun ! She also has some rather grand ideas on making tin flowers for the garden ( I had better not show them pininterest they will be wanting to recycle and upcycle projects all the time LOL !)
Then we looked at one which links back to my precious post on books - we had downloaded a super little app to show my youngest were her Nanny lived and were other family members were. We thought we would get it out and see what the older kids made of it . Soon enough my 12 year old was showing me Stonehenge , my 8 year old reaching over to press for audio and my 11 yr old asking when can he look up Southpole and some Explorer . Suddenly all three of them were chunterring on as they flipped literally from one side of the world to the other discovering clips . It was interesting to see the three of them were as interested in showing off their current knowledge but also used it as a sort of game . I am really looking forward to getting the actual book now to see how my youngest gets on with it .

 We even found the average CO2 emissions , population, and the kids will certainly look forward to using it for any projects , but something tells me it will be played with pretty regularly until we find another one that we can all enjoy together.
 You can find out more about books we love here

 We even had enough time to get my daughter to take another look at my website so that you can find and follow me as I know a few people are leaving comments as to how else to get in touch about specific posts .

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Enviros & this weeks #daisychains had us hopping around like rabbits !

 We began our #daisychains with some of our Barefoot Books favourites and asking for people to let us know what inspired them and which classics did they have fond memories of and we popped the links up showcasing 3 wonderful new stories and one classic the Snow Queen which has been beautifully illustrated . We were surprised to find a lot of crafters loves not only stories they heard as children , the ones they read themselves and now the ones they read to their children or grandchildren evoke such powerful memories and this lead to looking at a few more of the classics and how they were being transformed by some very talented small businesses. The Classic Goldilocks coming alive on Cakes By Nina - still a firm favourite even in my house - who doesn't like all the silly voices of mummy bear and daddy bear when they come home and find someone has been eating their porridge! Then of course there is our other edible friend The Gingerbread man , in fact this one I spotted the button and to my delight was able to ask for a bespoke present for a very special Gingerbread man of my own . We have often joked about the gingerbread man in shrek when he says Oh no not my buttons and this is my alternative easter gift to my husband to remind us that even when we are down to our last button we still have each other and a good story to tell at that !

Then I began to think about what sort of people are currently visiting the envirowealth page and wanted to find something that sort of showcased the diverse nature of this little community page that is slowly growing in number little by little . I stumbled across a lovely page and fell in love with this particular photo of hers - It sums our community page up  - some of us are there to browse and support each others little businesses, we have fashion gurus, health experts, jewellery makers, hairdressers, small shop owners, make up artists and all sorts of other services and information .I hope they feel we are doing the best we can to show our support for all . check out her blog I have been reading the stories to my youngest they are delightful and she really can make you anything you could imagine..check out her new page on facebook for more details .

 Then I spotted this little chap and thought how wonderful a gift he would make - we all know how hard it is to find something bespoke for the men in our lives either for Easter or any special occasion. I think that is why these little facebook shops are so wonderful they offer a personal service , those extra touches that make you feel part of the process . It is the relationship you build with them not the ammount of posts you see that have you going back for more . Something will catch you eye and you will have liked the page to book mark it . Maybe you leave it 3 weeks on your newsfeed to see if anything takes your fancy , then click to either hide all the posts or simply unsubscribe.
 I find the worst thing you could do is like a page just for the sake of it .  A like on a page is simply a book mark - an acknowledgement - an element of I support and like what you are doing . You can choose whether you want it on your newsfeed. Some people come over like wait for you to like back , common courtesy may lead some to do this then unlike you affecting the visibility of your posts and this can be quite upsetting when your posts are already being limited to a small percentage of views .
 On our page we do not sell anything - whilst I founded it based upon my need to be actively doing the best I can I try to cover a variety of topics in the hopes more people would interact and think about how best to use what social media can offer them . For me it offers me the chance to help others. It gives me a pleasurable hobby that I can do even when I am laid up in bed and on a good day inspires me to muck about with the kids and let them get creative .
 Sometimes , when we can we will pop a link up to help you source something, other times we might get a question like the one about sourcing a scarf tie - here we spotted a fairtrade coconut one but we are still on the search for something a little more fun for the Summer .
 We also try and show some of the newcomers who are showing us that they are doing the best they can to keep up with trends and new ideas. This for example was made to order and if you pop over she even has the exciting reveal on a video clip as she turns the bag inside out for the very first time . There is something quite exciting about sharing someone else s triumph .
 The bag made me think of sunshine and summer days which took me back to this link A few years ago my daughter had her own little online shop called Phoebe's Corner it lead to her appearing on TV at the time as the youngest guest designer , one of her very first little pieces pictured below , She was almost 10 at the time and stopped when she had to go to boarding school. One day I am sure she will pick it back up as a hobby but I am afraid books for her have become her passion and writing stories and novels is now her thing .She sourced all natural materials and was already quite the Enviro herself . She insisted on making each one unique and would even give them little names adding to the whole charm of her creations.

You can find Elodie Beads by clinking here.
So what is an enviro ...World English Dictionary
enviro  (ɪnˈvaɪrəʊ) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]
n  , pl enviros

informal  an environmentalist

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
So where does that take me round to on my mummy ramblings ahh yes. my last little find , this one for my son for Easter - he too like his sister a firm enviro ( seems I was the last to come aboard) . He loves the natural wood and I wanted to find something that would be personal too him and that he could tuck under his catering uniform as he cannot ear anything metallic for obvious reasons. We talked about a few options and I was shown some ideas and I have to say it is everything I wanted for him and a little bit more.  And for now my #daisychains is going to have a rest - if you want to join in or just stop by and show your support come and find us on facebook and click through the albums to see some of our reviews and recommends. With thanks to all that contributed to the photos in this blog. 

Friday, 8 March 2013

Happy Mothers 2013.Give yourself a hug!

2002 My sister Sam and I prep a meal together for the very first time

Many years ago I wrote an article about how social media had enabled me to find and reunite with my two sisters and youngest brother and how it had been those first few virtual hugs that had begun what I thought at the time a healing of our long lost family. As mother's day approaches I cannot even begin to imagine how hard every year was for my mother to face the knowledge of not knowing where or what her children were doing. I am lucky as my children have chosen to swap their weekend with their dad's allowing 5 of my 6 home for the weekend which will be very pleasant indeed .

My mum visiting my siblings in the USA

When we eventually arranged to meet up things were of course very different , my youngest brother had been my sons best friend and nursery and spent many a tea time running around my flat as at the time I was housed in a temporary shelter for the homeless just above their nursery school. Now here they were virtual strangers with nothing in common and no memory of their past. My two sisters had also changed into teenagers and I was a mum of 5 and naturally whilst I wanted to like them , the fact was they had been bought up by a different mother and we just had different ways of dealing with things and through the course of events have only seen each other at two or three major events since then. My sister Sam and I are possibly the most able to empathize with each other as she is now a mum of 3 herself and we have spent more time together both in real time and via skype although naturally we still have our sibling disagreements lol !
My mum and I
I am lucky as I am the eldest daughter to my mum and remember and know more about her than my siblings, perhaps that is why even now at my age I still pick up the phone twice a week (sometimes more lol ) for a quick gossip. A catch up and to let her know we're thinking of her. She lives alone after what some would consider an amazing life of the swankiest parties and the greatest of advetures and travels, she is surrounded by people who admire and love her and I witnesses this when I attended the funeral earlier this year.
my ex mother in law who we call Nanny Pat with P & Q
Whilst she may not have her children again this year on Mothers day I hope she and some of the other ladies who have now become close 'sisters' with her have a lovely Sunday lunch together and treat themselves. After all it is not about having your children buy you something or even being there a lot of us have ether lost our children or our mothers due to forces beyond our control.
My Nan and I with my little sister Sam ( my mums mum passed away shortly after my first son was born)

 It is not about giving birth to a child yourself - think of all those innate natural motherly acts we do as women even on a day to day basis , sometimes for complete strangers .

When do you feel like a mum?
My reminder to do the best I can!
It is about celebrating that motherly love and accepting that you are doing the best you can. 
Did you know for example that when you wrap your arms around yourself that your own body is unable to differentiate whether the hug has not come you or from someone else .
Try it , and take a deep breath ad count to 3 and then breath out keep your arms wrapped round you ?

(my poppy sparkles necklace celebrating my family )
 However you would naturally respond to a hug at that given time is just how you will find yourself reacting . So go on give yourself a hug , remind yourself of all the motherly acts you do . Its all about making your environment better , improving your wealth ( which at times tbh = your health) and leaving you with something to think about . Its your Choice .
My finished Jute bag doing the best I can to use a recyclable bag that expresses my personality and shows of my new necklace and my #daisychains which I often share when I find something that inspires me and I want to share it with others.

                     And if like me you want to go a little further and treat yourself to a little something with a personal touch I can highly recommend the personal touch that both Viv and Sally gave to my gifts this year. I am sure they would love to help create something for you , not in time to celebrate mothers day but how about just to celebrate the motherhood ! The power of you or celebrate just being you ? Lets face it we never reward ourselves we?
       You can find out more about the talented artist who created my necklace and my bag here Poppy Sparkles and Cutie Pie Jute Bags and our lovely little community who are doing the best they can on facebook is Envirowealth - We know there are lots of pages to LiKe Love and Share , we just do the best we can , if you would like to get involved do get in touch . Have a great weekend x