Vlogmas Week 2 Round-up

It’s been another busy week of filming for vlogmas in The Hippy Christian household. Click my 3 min vid embedded at the bottom of this post to see what I have been up to.

We have been present shopping, partying and had my mum and her husband down to visit last weekend which was in fact a pretty momentous occasion. It was the first time my mum has met the baby and we had a really nice weekend together. My mum has actually only been married for 3 months so it was nice getting to know her other half a bit better too. It was actually quite an emotional weekend (in a good way) and Beg absolutely loved seeing Grandma as well. I just love the bit of footage where Beg is dancing and my mum is holding the baby.

santa

We went to a party organised by our lovely baby singing group and had a lovely time. Lisa who runs it is so great with the kids and she did the whole party by herself; it was perfect for the babbas. She has been a great supporter of my blog so you will see she says “If you’re vlogging me get me on a good side.” Which just made me laugh but also brought it home that people have actually seen my vlogmas vids! So that was *awesome*! Thanks Lisa! 😉

Rich had a few days annual leave from work and so we got the majority of our Christmas present shopping for the kids done. The baby has about 20% the amount our daughter has but he won’t know will he? He’ll want to play with all the wrapping paper!

The 15th was a baby clothes haul so I haven’t included that in the highlights reel-it was a bit boring. Then the 16th was the first day I hadn’t got a video out. I had nothing prepared and I was wracking my brain thinking of talking to camera about something but what with the 15th being boring I knew I was reaching and so I left it clear. So does that mean I’ve failed the vlogmas challenge? I’m afraid I think it does, but stay tuned as I’m not quitting yet. I ain’t that easy… I gave birth twice-I’m hardcore.

Plans for next week include a collaboration with my Vlogging Bestie Ceri and of course her daughter Myah both of MyahzineTV fame! Ceri has also been a massive supporter of my blog from the get-go, giving me encouragement and tips along the way. I’m excited to be doing vlogmas with her and chatting on the vlogmas facebook page with her and we have a couple of fun videos planned with the girls which I think they will have fun filming.

What I’ve learned in week 2:

  1. Landscape filming definitely works better! (thanks Ceri!)
  2. Getting used to doing thumbnails and adding descriptions to my vids.
  3. There’s an overlay feature on my video editing timeline!
  4. Can upload straight to YouTube from my phone.

My favourite highlights of week 2:

  1. Hearing Rich making the baby laugh out of shot
  2. Baby smiling on mum’s lap
  3. Lisa asking to get her good side
  4. The way Beg says “he’s my friend” about Patch the bunny at the end.

Click the vid below for a condensed version of my YouTube channel -you lucky thing! I can’t believe Christmas is next week!

 

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#Vlogmas Week One Round-up.

I am 9 days in to #Vlogmas2016 and I’m pleased to say I have kept up and posted a video each day; even more pleased to say I have been really enjoying it.

If you don’t know what #Vlogmas is it’s a hashtag challenge to post a YouTube video every day of December in the lead up to Christmas. As you may have seen in my first Vlogmas blog post I’m brand shiny new to YouTube so I do feel I’ve taken up a challenge, but a fun one.

I’m pleased to say that I have already learned a lot. From simply navigating my way around a new social media platform – YouTube – to getting used to editing my videos it has been a great learning process. Once I put my mind to something, especially a new project, I can become quite obsessed with it quite quickly. But it’s usually because I am enjoying it so much, and this has been the way with Vlogmas too.

Some things I have learned from week one of Vlogmas are:

  1. Discovering brilliant free music on YouTube audio library
  2. Making my first day-in-the-life video
  3. Playing about with some techniques like sped-up footage
  4. Time spent editing has reduced from 3hrs to one.

Some of my video highlights for me were:

  1. My daughter calling the baby a “fuss-butt”.
  2. Rich making me laugh telling me what we were having for lunch.
  3. The sunlight streaming in through the window as I said “Kesed church”.
  4. Beg’s off the cuff “Myah from MyahzineTV” song.
  5. The baby eating/screeching at his sock on day 9’s vid
  6. A happy coincidence of a picture of my friends featuring on a screenshot of a charity.

I’ve made up a 4 min highlight reel of the first week of Vlogmas so you can get a  taster of what my YouTube channel is like. Coming up I have videos of Beg writing her Christmas wishlist, a very festive trip to the garden centre with my mum and baby’s first Christmas party (which was just the cutest thing ever), more days-in-the-life because I think they are my favourite and possibly another shopping haul. Have a look at the short highlight vid below and come over to my YouTube channel to see the rest of my Vlogmas vids.

Let me know if you are doing vlogmas too in the comments below so I can come and check you out and which kind of video you enjoy watching the most or what you would like to see me do a video about? Days in the life? Hauls? Let me know. 🙂

The Hippy Christian Mum Does YouTube

Throughout the month of December you can find me over on YouTube as The Hippy Christian Mum. I have taken up the challenge to post a vlog a day (a video log) in the run up to Christmas. So that’s a video every day including Christmas!

I have never really vlogged before but posted a little video of me ‘unboxing’ the Smiggle goody bag I received at their event and got a bit carried away and bought a video editing suite program! So I thought I’d better put it to some use and I saw the #Vlogmas tag floating about and thought I’d give it a bash.

It’s actually been really fun. I have been filming nearly every day and already am 100% better at editing the film than I was even 3 days ago when I began. I pre-recorded a couple of vids to give myself a head start and so far have not been lost for content. I have also been chatting with and following along other blogger/vlogger’s vlogmas vids and it has been great to see all the different styles of videos. I even got my friend on board at MyahzineTV and she is joining in too.

We are currently on day 3 of vlogmas 2016 and so far I have posted a shopping haul video, where I just show a few things I bought at the shops which doesn’t sound very exciting until you watch one and surprise yourself just how nosy you are (well, if you’re anything like me that is)! Day 2 was a 3 min mash up of us putting up our Christmas tree set to music, made quickly on an app on my phone. On the first day I was talking to camera explaining vlogmas and what vids to expect from me.

It’s surprisingly fun and Beg absolutely loves it, elbowing me out of shot whenever she possibly can. In fact I keep promising her I will set her up with her own channel as she’s always recording vlogs from the back of the car. She is born for the stage I think. I reckon even Rich is secretly enjoying it. He is always right behind me 100% in whatever I do though. The best thing about it though is that it is giving me a great excuse to capture Beb’s first Christmas on camera. It’s really getting me in the Christmas spirit as well, I’m feeling very festive already and it’s only the beginning of December.

Coming up there will be a Christmas car-pool karaoke James Corden sty-lee (I can’t wait for that one, Beg will find it hilarious). Some follow my day type recording as we do advent at church (these are called day-in-the-life I’m learning the lingo!). And hopefully more Christmassy family days out.

There is a Media qualification hidden somewhere in my murky past and while that doesn’t make me any good it does reveal a penchant for this kind of thing.  Apparantly YouTube is the place to be at the moment but I am still in love with blogging and whilst I am having fun messing about filming and editing I think I might stick to the written word after Vlogmas2016.

So if  you’ve ever wondered what my voice sounds like (Welshy) or how my face moves (currently crowd-funding for botox) it’s a limited time offer so click below and have a watch!

Let me know if you are doing #Vlogmas2016 in the comments below and I will come and check out your channel.

Run Jump Scrap!

 

Always Remember the 5th of November. (How could I forget).

I was always a big fan of fireworks night. When I was little my mum would take me to the local leisure centre and  I remember sitting in the stands wrapped up warm in hat and scarf and ear muffs (a must when you have serial ear infections) and just being awed by the fireworks. As a teenager my big sister and her cool boyfriend who drove took me along with them to a display & bonfire at the local pub. When I became independent I would plan a week’s worth of Firework displays around Bonfire night, visiting as many as I could.

Fireworks

 

My husband does not share my zeal for fireworks and would only agree to attend one display annually (a grumpy approach which turns out, spans more than just Bonfire night) and when we had children it became even more of a mission to convince him it was a good idea. Needless to say he was right as always and our attempt at a family night out to watch the fireworks went abysmally.

It began with me getting slightly over excited which never ends well. Thankfully alcohol was out of the question so that was a saving grace really. We had thoughtfully decided to go to one at a local rugby club in a little village nearby in the hope that the crowds would be manageable. Beg was 4 and it was her first proper display. We had done some little ones in the garden for her the year before – the quiet pack ones – but nothing big. I was so excited to show her proper fireworks. I thought ahead and bought us a pack of sparklers and a packet of glo sticks in case sparklers weren’t allowed. I wrapped me and Beg up in layers and hats and gloves and off we went.

ear-muffs

All excited in the car, we look out at the night sky busy with fireworks already and point them out to each other. As a surprise for Beg I thought I’d open the glo-sticks early. The instructions say snap to illuminate. Easy. Snap. Neon plastic stuff spits straight into my eyes! I completely freak out, shouting at Rich “It’s in my eyes, it’s in my eyes!” He laughs his head off and chucks a bottle of water at me which I use to rinse out my eyes and it’s all OK.  So they get stuffed in the car door. We arrive and park easily. Phew. We have to walk a little but the queue isn’t too  bad as we arrived early. It’s really muddy but me and Beg have our boots on. Score mummy. We have a look at the big bonfire but Rich doesn’t come because his trainers are getting stinking so we get bored of that pretty quickly. The bar is packed by now so we don’t even try to brave it for a coke and I’m feeling sick at this point anyway. I soon realise it’s because the tights I’m wearing under my jeans are far too tight and so half an hour later of toilet queuing and I’m feeling much better for getting rid of them. We go outside to pick a spot and wander up the hill away from the crowd to a bench Rich has spied. Unfortunately the wind picks up and now we’re freezing on the hill. Never mind, the fireworks are due to start soon. As always they start late. By now Beg is freezing cold despite the layers and all three of us are tired and hungry. We watch the first few, Beg is non-plussed and when we ask if she’d like to go home half way through it’s the most excited she has gotten all evening. Feeling rubbish, we head home; the only bonus being we miss the traffic queues on the way out.

mserable-fireworks
Thrilled

So we get home, all have a hot chocolate and vow to not venture out next year! Overall a bit of a miserable family night out, in spite of all my pre-planning. I think maybe it’s just not for us and we are better off sticking to a few hotdogs and sparklers in the garden at home. Baby Beb can enjoy them through the window then too!

How about you, do you love or loathe Bonfire night? Do you go to an ‘official’ display every year or prefer a family party at home? What are your plans this year?

Putting on a show

If you’d asked me do I feel I ever put on a façade for others I would have answered categorically no, definitely not. That was until I found myself plumping the sofa cushions today.

A new mum friend was coming to visit, someone I don’t know very well, so I’d tidied the house ready. When she popped round to offer her apologies –she couldn’t come after all her babba was unwell- I thought oh well the house is sorted now at least. As I switched the plug in off I thought “Oh how funny, I must have had that on expressly for her visit.” Then I went round and did a few other things, I opened the window, I made a cuppa, I realised actually there were a few things I had done in order to present myself in a certain way to this person I didn’t know very well. I thought that was really interesting.

In college I failed my psychology A-Level and a couple of others too (cough cough) but I remember learning about conformity. Zimbardo did this awesome albeit completely unethical experiment in 1971 called The Stanford Prison Experiment which I see on TV quite regularly in varying forms. He basically pitted two groups of people – volunteers – against each other as prisoners and prison guards and the surprising results were not just how horrible the guards became with the prisoners but how compliant the volunteer prisoners became.

There are different ways people conform to things. Basically what I like to think of as the wishy washy and the true die hards. I fall into the true die hards camp. If I agree with something I take it on fully. Balls to the wall, no holds barred, I’m in or I’m out. This is probably why I was smoking 20 a day by the time I was 21. As I’ve gotten older I can see that most of life is a massive grey area and therein lies the beauty (turns out there are many societal factors that play in behaviour like smoking so not quite so rebellious after all) but I am still prone to strong opinions and I am still prone to not really caring what people think of me. To be honest, I think it was what Rich found so attractive about me. It certainly wasn’t the smokers cough.

I’m an informed decision kind of person. It doesn’t matter to me if all my friends are doing the cry-it-out method, if there is a good reason I don’t want to then I won’t. I read and research things, I go my own way when I have to because I know that ultimately it’s me who has to be happy with the consequences of my decisions. That’s not to say that some of my decisions are not sacrificial. I love hearing people’s opinions and I love it when my thinking is challenged. In fact let me just take this moment to say those people are my favourite. The ones who can discuss without arguing, who present me with a totally different viewpoint and go but what if…? And it makes my mind open like a flower.

flowerAnyway I would never in a million years have thought that I was the type of person who does something, anything just because it’s what other people do. Until today when I plumped those pillows and considered waiting to use the loo in case someone knocked my door. Did I want her to think my home was lovely? Yes. Had I decided the best way to show her that was to have a nicely presented orderly house? Yes. That was somewhere in my consciousness. Did I want her to think my house smells nice? Yes. That’s just a funny I like nice smells too, I sometimes spray air freshener even when no-one has done a poo. When I get to the root of it, what essentially is the point of all that? I wanted her to like me. I turned that plug in off and all this came running through my mind -and now you have had the pleasure of coming on this mini journey with me- and I thought “Oh.” ” I wonder what other strange little ‘please like me’ things I have been doing all this time.” Perhaps I would have been a lot more compliant in that experiment than I ever realised.

“…in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” – Mother Teresa.

What Does a Doula Do?

Doulas are awesome and amazing magical women scattered throughout the world quietly going about the business of supporting women to plan and experience a positive birth.

A common misconception is that doulas only attend home-births but as doulas are concerned with empowering women they usually attend all types of birth, home-birth, hospital birth, elective c-section and any others.

There are different types of doula roles, this post is about birth doulas.

Doula Profile

How do I hire a doula?

If you are in the U.K. you can go to Doula U.K. and search Doula profiles to find one that is in or willing to travel to your location. Lots of doulas are willing to travel. You can view doula profiles and see if there is anyone in particular you think you would get along with before making initial enquiries.

Get asking around, sometimes word of mouth recommendations come from where you least expect them.

What Does a Doula do Practically?

  • Ante natal support & information.
  • Opens space for any questions birth partners may have in confidence.
  • Provides time to just talk/think about baby as a family (especially useful if 2nd or more baby)
  • Be on call (usually) 2 weeks before & after due date.
  • Attend in birth however you need. Can make drinks, set birth space, words of affirmation, support birth partner, massage.
  • More likely to be aware of your birth plan & wishes and gently encourage everyone to follow it.
  • Post natal visit. Debrief about birth.
  • Post natal care visits to help with caring for baby if pre-arranged.

How Much Does it Cost?

On average from £400+ can expect up to £1,000. Depends on location, (London prices likely to be higher for example) services offered, (a doula may include things like book buying or mileage in their costs) and the individual. Being a doula is a vocation but for the majority, it is also their business and you can expect to find a wide variation in how people price the skills and support they offer.

One thing is for certain though, you may expect them to be clear about their cost from the outset so you are able to make a good decision. Some doulas are happy to split the cost into payments over the pregnancy some prefer upfront payment, as long as it is clear. Be sure to check what you are agreeing to before signing the contract between you and your doula and that you are happy with what is being agreed upon regarding services and pricing, and when payment is due.

How Will I Know Which Doula to Choose?

Meet a couple and then decide taking all factors into account. All good doulas would expect you to do this to see who you connect with and will be used to inital meetings with prospective clients. They are in it to support birth not to make excess cash so want you to be comfortable with them.

Jot down some ideas before your first meeting of what you think would be some of the most important things to happen at your birth. Would you like a calm and peaceful atmosphere, where would you like to give birth, what kind of things may help to make you feel safe and in control. A good ice breaker is to talk about why you sought a doula.

What a Doula Isn’t.

A medical professional. A doula is there in a supportive capacity. Even if they happen to have a medical background, the support of a doula cannot replace the advice and expertise of a qualified midwife.

Infallible! Most doulas will stay with you throughout your labour and birth but doulas also have their own families and commitments. Check your doula has a contingency plan in place should she not be able to attend you due to emergency or illness. A lot of doulas on the doula UK website know each other locally and will ‘back-up’ for one another in this (uncommon) instance.

I would really recommend seeking out a doula to support you in birth, whatever type of birth you would like to plan for yourself. Before the birth the cost of a doula seems expensive, after the birth it doesn’t seem anywhere near enough.

Church Macmillan Coffee Morning

After having a lovely time at Bloggers Meet for Macmillan I wanted to host a coffee morning myself at our church. We always have teas and coffees and a chat after church so cake is an added bonus.

SAMSUNG CSC

I signed up on the Macmillan website and they sent me a free coffee morning hosting pack in the post within the week. At church Beg and I set up a little table and put the cakes out, there were loads of decorations in the pack to make it eye-catching. The bunting was my favourite bit. Beg wrote out the cake labels they looked really cute in her handwriting.  I had a feeling my #churchfam would be receptive to the idea and I was right, everyone was very generous and in total we raised £73.96!

Macmillan’s Coffee Morning seems to be gaining momentum and I was really pleased to be a part of this year’s event and completely surprised we raised so much. It was a lovely morning, I knew I could rely on my church family to support such an amazing cause.

If you would like to get involved, it’s not too late to join in as there’s loads of free downloads and ideas on the Macmillan website to help you host your own.

If you live in Newport or nearby and are looking for a friendly bunch of people to call your own #churchfam you’re welcome to come and check us out at Faith Church

Thank you to everyone who donated! 🙂

O Em Gee It’s My First Guest Feature

In Conversation With: The Hippy Christian Mum on Over Heaven’s Hill

How many children do you have?

I have two children and on the blog I’ve called them Beg and Beb. Beg is my brown-eyed-girl. She is 6yrs old. Beb is my blue-eyed-boy. He is 5 months old. It feels really weird whenever I type out their blog nicknames but I had seen other bloggers using pseudo-names for their children and I just thought it was a really nice idea as I am talking about them so publicly. It feels a bit close to the bone to use their real names even though I do post pics of them on Instagram too!

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Are you a Working Mum, Stay-at-Home Mum or Work-from-Home Mum?

I am a SAHM of 6 years. Before I gave up work to stay home, I worked part time as an admin assistant in a social work team. I really liked my job but after childcare costs I would have been adding only £100 to our household income. As it was I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving her at 9 months (we didn’t have family who could have her) and so I took voluntary redundancy.

I find I do tend to face a lot of pre-judgement with the whole SAHM thing. People assume I am claiming top ups or that I have a secret mill stashed in an offshore account. I stopped fighting people’s opinions about it a few years ago and now I let them think what they like without correction. I think if people really want to get to know me they will ask of their own volition. My friends know us and the rest can talk!

I have friends who work full time, part time and some don’t work, some are on maternity leave, single parenting, adoptive, foster, all kinds of amazing wonderful mums. We can still moan to each other if we’ve had a hard week without judging the other’s life circumstances.

What is the best part about being a Mum?

It has to be the pure joie de vivre that only children have. The laughter. No matter what is going on in life hearing your children laugh just sets something alight within your soul. I like the silly too. I do silly voices for the bedtime stories. My husband does silly voices and games. We say stupid stuff all the time and Beg thinks it is all great fun and it makes me laugh too. I also love watching Beg and Beb’s relationship unfolding in front of me. I can’t believe we almost never had another, she loves her brother so much. It’s truly a beautiful thing to be witness to.

What is your biggest fear as a Mum?

I recently had to face some big mum fears when Beb was born. He had to spend the first couple of weeks in neonatal intensive care which was a really hard time for us as a family. When he was born he was breech and it hadn’t been picked up. He was born not breathing so instead of laying him on me the midwife had to perform CPR immediately. I didn’t actually get to hold him until he was 8 days old.

He had cooling therapy and then had seizures when they brought him back up to temp. He had a chest drain, infection, morphine, anti-seizure medication. It was a scary time. I just prayed and prayed over him. I would go into the NICU and reach into his incubator and he was freezing cold. He was there in his nappy, wires everywhere, shivering, and all I could do was touch his hand and talk. So, that is what I did. He gripped my finger and I told him about his big sister and sang him made up songs.

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My church prayed for us too and my Pastor asked everyone he knew to pray for us. There were whole churches all over the world praying for him, as far as New Zealand. At first I didn’t know if we would ever bring him home. My husband said he knew we would. They told us there would be effects from the lack of oxygen at birth but they had no idea to what extent it would be. But I’m absolutely joyous to say his MRI scan was completely clear. He is a little miracle, and he is absolutely thriving. He is a wonderful bubbly 5 month old and I praise God for him everyday.

If you could share one piece of advice to other soon-to-be Mums, what would it be?

Well, if something doesn’t feel right in your pregnancy do bring it up no matter how silly you think it is. I kept saying to my midwives, what is this big hard lump at the top of my bump and they passed me off. Turns out it was my baby’s head. And definitely breastfeed. It gets easier as you go along and once it does it’s an absolute breeze and so great for bonding as baby gets older. Oh and have a Blessingway. Best thing I did when I was pregnant. I did a post on mine which you can read here.


Thanks for having me on your conversation series at Over Heaven’s Hill. I’m truly honoured as I am a newbie blogger. My blog is only 4 months old. You can read more about my birth story here.

And thank you Kate for joining us on In Conversation With. It was a pleasure and after reading your interview, I went straight to your blog to read more about your birth story. I had also have never heard of a Blessingway before. It is such a beautiful idea empowering the mother through the strength of sisterhood.

You can find Kate at her blog The Hippy Christian Mum, on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest

You can find Geraldine from Over Heaven’s Hill on Facebook and Twitter

 

A Mum Track Mind

 

Bloggers Meet for Macmillan

Off the back of the Smiggle event I went to I joined a lovely group called South Wales parent bloggers and saw an invite to attend a Macmillan Coffee Morning. It was in Parc Play Cardiff so I thought I’d go along and introduce myself.Parc Play

You’ve probably already heard of or been to a Macmillan coffee morning event. It’s really easy to set up and you can sign up on their website to receive a free hosting pack to do your own. It’s a really nice event to do because people are so willing to get together to support it and donate to the charity and eat lots of cake together.  There’s lots of ideas and downloads on their website to help you host your own too.parcplay

Last year Macmillan raised £25 million through their national coffee morning. I was really interested to read all the things Macmillan actually do with that money. They can provide a specialist cancer nurse to someone dealing with a diagnosis, they can provide grants that can help to pay for things like a blender for people on a special liquidised diet as a result of their cancer treatment or hire a room for a support group to meet. It is obvious that Macmillan are there ‘on the ground’ helping people in very practical ways. Often as friends and family we don’t know what we can do to help and I think that’s why so many people and families are so grateful to Macmillan for their knowledge and support. So needless to say I was made up to be invited along to join in and promote the event this year.

I had been to a Macmillan coffee morning a few years ago organised by my friend Rachel as she was going through her cancer treatment. I fondly remember it because it kind of gave a positive spin on a terrible circumstance as I felt I was doing something active to help in some tiny small way. I got to catch up with some old workmates and we played games and nattered which made for a lovely fun atmosphere. Parc Play was one of the places we visited with the kids while Rach was going through her treatment too so it was nice to return again to support Macmillan.

me-rach-laura
Rach, me & Laura

This year’s coffee morning is being supported by Marks and Spencer and they have a range of lush cakes that you can buy and 10% of the sales of them will go to Macmillan. ms-cakes

Overall it was a lovely afternoon and I really enjoyed getting to meet  some other local mummy (& granny) bloggers. A special thanks to Cathryn of Cardiff Mummy Says for organising the event and being so welcoming to me as a newbie blogger. Thanks so much. Here we are left to right- me, Cathryn Cardiff Mummy Says , Sally Teddy Bears and Cardigans , Alina We Made This Life , Kerry All About A Mini Norris and Leanne A Slice of My Life Walesmummy bloggers

Right, I’m off to see about signing up to host one at my church. 🙂

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

 

Ann Summers Party

Hello my name is Kate, and I attended an Ann Summers party.

We’ve just moved house this summer to a new build estate. Because literally everyone  is new, there is a real sense of camaraderie and a building sense of community. We came to an afternoon street party the week before we moved in and the community facebook page is very active with everyone happy to help people moving into the estate. In general nearly everyone is very keen to make the effort to make friends. So when I was invited in passing by a woman who lives on the estate to her Ann Summers party I thought nothing of it. I’ve been to a couple before and honestly completely forgot about the invite altogether until my husband came back from Beg’s play date at our neighbour’s house and said “You off out tonight are you?”  My automatic response was I can’t really be arsed but I’d had a funny day where for various and sundry reasons I was feeling like I didn’t really fit in anywhere and ultimately I decided it might be a good excuse to get to know the neighbours a bit better. A lot better it turned out but then I guess an Ann Summers party is quite far removed from tea and scones with the vicar.

I made it an excuse to put some make up on and wash my hair. Husband is always very accomodating on these occasions (probably happens twice annually) and takes over ‘entertaining the baby’ without asking where anything is for half an hour. Beg gets very excited being the very girly type of little girl that she is and always has been -the mere mention of lip gloss gets her attention- so Rich will distract her for as long as possible but then she will make her way upstairs for a good nosy at what I’m wearing. Asking me hugely philosophical questions that she doesn’t even realise the weight of like “but why do you wear eyeliner mummy?” which makes me want to scrub my face, stop shaving my legs and live in a hessian sack.

Anyway, all going well so far then suddenly a strange and faraway thought began to form in my mind…’*Should* I even be going to an Ann Summers party now that I’m a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N?’ Dun dun duhhhh! First of all I knew this was a stupid question because 1. Should I be anything-anything now I’m a Christian is just a really religious and oppressive way to conduct myself that I don’t wholly agree with; change should come on a fundamental level for good reason not superficially because I feel I need to live up to a set of religious standards. 2. Ask me should I do anything and just know I am certainly going to do it. Especially if there is an insinuation that I shouldn’t.  It’s just the way I’m wired. My best friend could tell you about the time she watched me scale a bridge on the outside ledge aged 10, over a road because someone said I shouldn’t. Not big or clever but did she know I was gonna do it? Yeah she did.

So armed with my bottle of prosecco I went and called for my neighbour and another neighbour came and called for her straight after and we three merrily set off through the estate each carrying our bottle of plonk. The party was well underway when we got there and as is always the case with these things, the atmosphere got more and more relaxed as time went on. I really belly laughed a lot at some of the things that were said (what happens at an Ann Summers party stays at an Ann Summers party I’m afraid) and had a really nice time. It was a bunch of women letting loose at the end of the week, having a giggle, sharing snippets of our lives, and enjoying it. Also we all only bought nice underwear. Honest. 😉

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday