Mama Says…Listen up and pipe down!

Mama Says…Listen up and pipe down!

I need to have a bit of a rant here, one of these niggly things that has been rattling around my head for a while.

I love the NHS, do not doubt me when I say that. It’s a bloody wonderful service and we are super lucky to have it. However, some of the people within it are (I guess as is any percentage of a large workforce) decidedly unrepresentative of their professional body.

Over the course of the last year or so my GP has seen myself and my two boys a number of times due to various things and each time I have found him very dismissive. I’m not the type of person to hurry to the doctor unless it’s something I feel is serious and now I’m a much more confident parent, second time around, I also know that if I’m taking my kids there it’s because I’m genuinely concerned and not just over anxious.

Each time he has left me feeling like some silly girl who’s wasting his time with my concerns – this is so unacceptable! Imagine I allowed his behaviour to put me off going in and my child’s cough or upset stomach turned out to be something far more serious?

My other bug bear is judgy health visitors. Actually I get quite wound up by anyone judging my parenting choices but your HV especially is meant to support you and advise you. Not judge and make you feel shit. The most recent example I have seen was from Megan of It’s The Mother – she had been given a bit of a stern chat from her HV after revealing that she had been cosleeping with her baby girl in order to get some reasonable rest whilst solo parenting for a few weeks. Seriously?! A genuinely sleep deprived parent who isn’t taking any opportunities to get a decent sleep is more of a concern than one who allows their 8 month old to come into bed for a rest. We have H in our bed loads and all the chat I get is “oh you have made a rod for your own back” – come back and tell me that again if he’s still sleeping in my bed at 14 Mavis!! I could go on and on about the whole cosleeping thing because the UK is one of the few countries who really is against it and having read (thoroughly!!) up on it, I am a big advocate if it’s what you wish to do and do it safely.

Enjoying a wee snuggle before bedtime in the big bed!

Anyway, this was a far longer rant than planned but clearly I had some chat to get off my chest! Thanks, as always, for reading along. Please share your moan of the week with me so I know I’m not the only grump out there!!

K x

The ones before the one…

The ones before the one…

I thought I would share a bit of a different side of me with you all. Not everyone will know my romantic background, not everyone will care, but it’s my blog so I’m sharing anyway.


My ‘the one’ is Colin, a man 9 years my senior and someone I never expected to fall for. He was a good friend, a work colleague and when my marriage ended, a real support to me which all blossomed into him being the love of my life. We make a pretty unlikely pairing to the uneducated eye but even 3 years on, an extra kid in and in the depths of sleep deprivation he makes me laugh and my heart bursts with love for him. Gaaaah that’s way loveydovey but true.

Obviously as I mentioned there was a husband before there was Colin, and a few other ‘the ones’ who turned out not to be so oneish after all. Each ending left me with something new learned and got me where I am today so I guess the old adage about kissing a few frogs to find a prince is true.

1. The ex husband….I gained a child and a whole raft of life lessons from this relationship. Mainly about realising my own self worth, not doing what’s expected of you even when you know its wrong, and quite a lot about food (he was a chef). What happened is frankly a whole other blog post but what I will say is that I’m glad I married him, and I’m more glad that I left him as we are both in far happier relationships for it.

2. The first love….Many people wonder for years what would have happened had they stayed with their first love. Sometimes they try and revisit that relationship, sometimes it works out and they are reunited and live happily ever after. I couldn’t do this even if I wanted to…my first love now bats for the other team. Yup. He is still one of my favourite people I have ever dated, a sarcastic, funny, ginger delight of a man. I like to joke with him that I ruined him for all other women so he turned to men. Sometimes he humours me and agrees, mostly he fake laughs and goes back to telling me off for cutting my hair.

3. The best friend…ok so I have a bit of a recurring theme of falling for my friends! This one was my uni boyfriend and we were inseparable, sharing beds and cigarettes, misbehaving and having pretty much the time of our 18 year old lives along with our close knit group of fellow Geddes Court reprobates. This is the one that makes me sad sometimes, when we broke up (thanks to my own idiot wild behaviour) I lost him as my best friend, the rest of the group of boys and his family too who I just thought was wonderful. We still follow on social media and have wished each other the best in our lives so it’s all good. I definitely learned not to lose a good thing when you have it after this one, a lesson I cherish in my relationship today!

4. The wild fling. Says it all really. There was a handful of these before I settled down with the husband and they were mostly all a joy. I learned to be proud of my sexual side and to love myself. I also learned that boys can be shitheads from some of these and sometimes you need to recognise a knight in shining armour is just a twat in a tin can.

Love is a funny thing my friends and I’m glad I have found it now. It’s been a hell of a ride, no pun intended, getting here and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Any funny ex tales from you lot? 

K x

Mama Says… Alternative Christmas Gift Guide

Mama Says… Alternative Christmas Gift Guide


Shopping small business is something I have become hugely passionate over the last year or so. I still drop a small chunk of my wages in H&M, Boots and Ikea on the regular, but I am far more likely to hop online and trawl Insta or Not On The High Street for more unique items. I get more compliments on Harrison’s cute hand made clothes from awesome Insta shops than the extortionate John Lewis outfit that he ruins in 30 seconds flat plus it’s a wonderful feeling knowing someone somewhere is paying for their kids ballet classes because we have shopped small.

Every year I see the big magazines and newspaper do supplements around Christmas giving the perfect gift ideas…but they only really seem to feature the big brands. As a result I decided to create the ‘Mama Says… Alternative Christmas Gift Guide’! Hopefully this takes some of the hassle out of your Christmas shopping and brings you new and unique gift ideas for your loved ones.

La Pom Pom


La Pom Pom is the home of handcrafted wool pom pom and felt ball garlands, decor and jewellery. The owner, designer, creator and everything else at La Pom Pom is Laura, a stay-at-home mama to two little boys. She creates everything from beautiful garlands to mega jazzy Pom Pom earrings which you may have spotted me wearing in a few posts!



Harry and Rose


Harry and Rose are a fab new baby skincare brand with a difference. Not only are all their products are natural, pure and totally organic, they are also sheer luxury! This beautiful Baby Bath Gift Set features their Hair&Body Wash as well as a super soft bamboo hooded towel and wash mitt and is perfect for any new arrivals first Christmas present.

My Pocket Money Toy

This is a fantastic new find for me – I love my own monthly beauty box subscription that I get, and as soon as I heard about My Pocket Money Toy I knew my eldest would feel the same about these beautifully packaged kids monthly subscription Toy gift boxes.

For Christmas there are these Christmas Eve boxes for kids (and ones for parents too!) which are choc full of festive treats and activities for a proper cosy family night in together waiting for Santa to arrive.

Becks McCulloch – Arbonne

This gorgeous lady runs her Arbonne business along side her existing job as a physio and a mummy to her two lovely boys! This range has products to suit everyone and features daily use (and frankly pretty damn fabulous) skincare products all the way through to nutritional supplements like their vegan protein powder! 
A particularly lovely gift that she has is the gents shave set featuring a shave cream & an after-shave soothing lotion. The shave cream conditions the skin for a less irritable shave then the soothing lotion absorbs quickly leaving the skin soft and smooth. Plus the antioxidant properties which helps calm & refresh tied looking skin. Will be sharing an amazing deal on this gift set on the Instagram page later in the week, keep your eyes peeled! 

Old J Rum

This dynamite new rum brand comes in a wide variety of flavours but my absolute favourite is their classic Spiced rum. Make a delicious spiced rum hot chocolate over the festive period (will share a cheeky recipe over on instagram this week!) or just enjoy poured over ice with coke and a slice of lime. For those a little more adventurous they have a sweet and delicious Cherry rum which has a really nostalgic, cherry vanilla flavour to it. Available in the awesome indy off-licence The Cave over in Glasgow’s West End.

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Clara’s Bowtique

Super adorable handmade bows from sunny Glasgow. This fledgling company came from Clara’s mama making bows for her when she arrived earlier this year. The business and the beautiful Clara are growing together and I predict big things for them both.

Ideal for Disney fans of all ages and ultra girly girls!


Goldcraft Jewellers Shawlands

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From baby bangles to their specially designed Legend of St Mungo silver items there is quite literally something for everyone in this family run jewellers situated right on the heart of Shawlands high street. They have fabulous silver and costume jewellery at a reasonable price to give you that bit of sparkle on your christmas night out or for those with some money to burn (or perhaps a special question to pop!!) there is an incredible selection of luxury diamond and precious stone rings. You might even recognise a certain member of staff…hint hint…its me!


Violet Rose Make Up Artistry

What to get for the woman who already has it all? Vouchers for the hottest ticket in town of course – Violet Rose Make Up Artistry! Giving the gift of the natural glow this year, Jen Beattie is an artist with an incredible talent for natural ‘you but better’ make up style.

She can either make you over for a special event or even do a one on one mini make up lesson to help you get the most out of your own make up bag on the daily. I know who will be helping this Mama get her glow on this festive party season!

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Awesome Mama Illustration

This beautifully bespoke company came about when Stacey was off on Maternity Leave. She had been running her paper cutting company Two For Joy Art for around 7 years but found it was too time consuming and tricky once little ones were thrown in the mix. Recognising that she needed to adapt her craft to fit the wildness that is mama life, she began to draw what she knew, which in the beginning was lots and lots of sleep deprivation!
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She creates bespoke portraits under the guise of Awesome Mama, mainly of Mums and Dads with their kids. Each one is totally unique to the family, with lots of personal touches, favourite books and toys, pets, special clothing and sometimes ‘in jokes’. It’s these little things that you may forget when your babies grow older, so putting them into artwork is a lovely way to look back on that moment in time and makes these such an incredible and personal gift.

One Wee Box

Taking the stress out of gift giving, Kirstin created One Wee Box from her own love of finding and giving the perfect gift. Every Wee Box (and there are several varieties covering a great range of giftees and price points) is aimed at encouraging the recipient to take some time out for themselves. She is happy to discuss making up a bespoke box too if you want to personalise it further and has fabulous new Hygge and Gents boxes launching this Christmas. As the old saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup….however you can pour some down right delicious Mulled Spice Tea for yourself if you purchase the Wee Box of Hygge pictured above.

Shh By Sadie

This cute and colourful Charmed Heart charm is a perfect stocking filler for teenagers, stylish mamas and fashionistas who lunch. Mix, match and add them to your favourite bags (I have glammed up my change bag with one) !

The charms are woven by Sadie using traditional bead loom techniques and beautifully accentuated with 24 carat gold plated clamps and chunky gold clasp.  They even arrive with their very own reusable flamingo pouch to keep your pretties pretty!

Check out her website too for a dazzling array of handmade jewellery. It is often created using vintage beads, chains and embellishments which means your Shh by Sadie pieces can be one of a kind or limited edition, allowing you to be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons!

Makar Gin

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Two of my favourite things are my home city Glasgow and Gin – so Makar had to be on this list!! Makar, the first gin to be distilled in this fair city, is a vibrant, Juniper based, handcrafted gin that derives its name from the ancient Scots word for Poet. So named to reflect the craft of their team of dedicated distillers and the heptagonal shape of the slender bottle meanwhile echoes the number of times the liquid is pot distilled in their copper pot still ‘Annie’ and the number of carefully selected botanicals that complement the finest Juniper berries in this award winning gin.
Porter & Bramble

Run by Megan, Scottish super mum! She has two small kids and her partner works offshore. So in order to keep earning while still caring for her family she created Porter & Bramble. Every item is hand draw, inspired by her kids and ranges from wedding items to these beautiful personalised Christmas baubles which I HAD to have for my own two boys!

Willow & Plum

Having struggled for years with dry skin, made worse by her role as a long haul cabin crew member, Lesley decided to educate herself on all things organic and natural to try and improve her skin. When she struggled to find the right type of thing on the market she jumped on the entrepreneurial life and started Willow & Plum. Her and her husband now make cold pressed soaps which are all natural including the fully recyclable packaging – no nasties anywhere!

Their Nettle soap is especially lovely for face washing and removing make up and is soothing, healing and known to benefit those with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
The  Mount Whistle Company

If you like Luxury then look no further than Dumbarton. An unlikely statement to some, but to those in the know, its where The Mount Whistle Company hand pours their incredible smelling soy candles.

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For Christmas you can indulge in these cute tree shaped Pine & Eucalyptus melts to make your home smell amazing and festive or treat a loved one (or yourself) to one of these on trend rose gold candle tins. I currently have mine adorning my sideboard but will definitely be gifting a few this year, even better because they can be refilled by The Mount Whistle Company with their awesome waste minimizing refill service.

 

Gill Chesnutt

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Gill Chesnutt is an artisan glassmaker working from her purpose built studio in her garden on Glasgow’s southside. Every piece is unique – individually handmade by Gill using traditional methods and techniques for the perfect finish. A really lovely gift for anyone obsessed with home decor, the main influences on Gill’s work are scottish flora and fauna which makes for these vibrant and eye catching pieces.

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A Pony called Steve

With a brand name like this I almost don’t even want to elaborate – Steve does the talking! A cruelty free range of the most delicious smelling products I have ever encountered – and endorsed by a tiny magical shetland pony called Steve. What more could you want?


Soaps that smell like pink lemonade and a body lotion that evokes summer holiday memories even in the dead of winter, all packaged up in gorgeous colourful packaging and at a super reasonable price point! These make the ideal stocking fillers or perhaps you could really treat someone to a pamper hamper filled with goodies.


Epoch

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An exciting new addition to the Glasgow food circuit run by a husband and wife team, located in Princes Square. They first met working in a restaurant there many years ago and when the opportunity came around to open their own place in the beautiful location they took the chance and went ‘home’! I love me a good romance so this captured my heart straight off, but if that isn’t enough to sway you their modern European tapas style menu certainly will. The head chef Andrew Greenan (previously of Martin Wisharts The Honours) meticulously sources the finest ingredients from all around Scotland and they have an extensive and classy drinks menu to match. Vouchers are available to redeem against a family meal, a quickie lunch date or one of their fantastic 6 course tasting menus – an ideal gift for the foodie in your life

Aillie Anderson Silver

A recent graduate of Glasgow School of Art, Aillie has wasted no time at getting her debut collection out into exhibitions and into the public eye. She has also begun a prestigious year long residency within the GSA silversmithing and jewellery department.

These pieces are from one of two new collections being launched called Granite and Facet. Uniquely textured sterling silver earrings, rings and pendants all hand finished by this clever young designer.

The second collection, Facet, is once again sterling silver but with the unusual addition of Jesmonite, a casting material, giving the pieces a lovely soft yet concrete like finish.

You can meet Aillie and see her pieces in person at a Christmas events in Royal Exchange Square on November 26th and December 20th or check out the ranges in their entirety on her website. I’d say this girl is one to watch…so maybe get yourself some of her work now before they become collectors pieces in the future!

Ruby Woo Boutique

A hidden treasure of a shop, first opened on Skirving Street Shawlands and now Great Western Road in the west end too! They have the most gorgeous selection of clothing, footwear and accessories for all ages, shapes and sizes!

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When browsing their beautiful shop recently I discovered their own range of soy candles which have some fab festive scents to get you in that christmassy mood. The exciting one however, is their signature RWB candle which smells amazing – really rich, fruity and exotic. It comes in a gorgeous gift box making it an ideal ready wrapped present for those unexpected guests or secret santas.

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The Wee T-Shirt Company

Another incredible mama run company – Siobhan sources, prints and creates gorgeous t-shirts and jumpers from her home studio. She is mum to Archie & Cara, who you often see modelling her designs, and started the business in order to be at home with her two rather than spend the crippling costs of childcare. Thanks to her own ‘mumming’ Siobhan fully appreciates the need for good quality durable clothing which means she is super committed to all her items being the best quality they can be.

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This adorable tartan tee & bib combo is all lovely soft cotton and the jumper has a cosy fleecy lining which I adore! Because this is all printed by Siobhan at home she can do bespoke pieces if you have an idea and she also does t-shirts featuring kids own artwork which is pretty special!

I could go on and on and on with the amazing small businesses that are out there, some on our very own Glasgow doorsteps! I hope this guide gives you all some ideas and I would love to hear about any other small brands you know and love (or if you are a small brand give me a shout and we can line you up for next Christmas or plot something else!)

K x

Judgy Judy and the Baby Clique

Judgy Judy and the Baby Clique

So recently I had been picking up some vibes from a certain group of women that I know through one of our baby classes. Nothing mean had been said, no outright lines drawn, just a general air of ‘off’ and I couldn’t work out what I had done wrong…


To read the rest of this post, please head over to Bad Mum Magazine where it was originally published 💕💕

Manic Monday, Tuesday, Everyday!

Manic Monday, Tuesday, Everyday!

Currently life feels a bit like it’s flying past in a total blur and I am just trying to keep up. Thankfully it’s loads of brilliant things that I have on the go so it’s mostly a positive blur but I’m finding it a tad overwhelming.


Actual image of me at the moment!

The result of this is dropped balls, the metaphorical type of course! The actual writing side of the blog has become distinctly neglected. Instagram is just easier, quicker and is where I have a lot more contacts and followers so tends to become the favourite child when life gets manic. So apologies, dear readers, I will get back into the swing of weekly writing!

My main cause of blur and big news is that I have been scrambling around trying to decide what to do about my return to work. I had my request for part time/flexible working denied and was facing a return to work full time from November. A prospect I didn’t much cherish with two small kids one of whom I don’t even have with me 7 days of the week due to custody arrangements. 

Randomly, while in a local jewellers with my Mum, we were discussing my situation and the owner overheard. She quickly spoke up and said she was looking for someone and did I want to give her my CV and have a chat? Fast forward a few weeks, some serious soul searching, a lot of conversations and number crunching and I am leaving the world of insurance. After 7 years and the frankly crushing disappointment of the denial of my request it felt like the right time. Not only do I get to now work amongst the most stunning diamonds all day, they are also letting me run their social media and marketing which is a dream role for me!


Also me…in the display window!

The only down side of all this is that I will be returning to work sooner than originally planned and have a few extra balls to juggle in terms of childcare arrangements and adapting to an altogether new role.

I have a few reviews to write up and post so keep an eye out for those, but please be patient with me while I work out my best balance. 

Any tips on how to keep things all ticking along with out burning out would be much appreciated!

K x

Daddy Says….

Daddy Says….

I’m so excited to bring you all another guest post but this time from my lovely work colleague Steve and about parenting from a Dads perspective!

It’s been nearly two years since Judith and I were blessed with Eloisa, a beautiful little baby girl.


Up until the day she was born I was (naively) expecting a walking, talking little person to leap into the world all ready for me to read bedtime stories to, teach to ride a bike, race round the park with and have chats with as I drove her to and from music and sports clubs – boy did I have a wake up call.

Sleepless nights, the absolute heartbreak of rejection when only mummy will do, baby puke, brown sticky stuff in places you’d never thought you’d see it (not least when your super efficient daddy nappy change turns out to be slightly too early), yet more baby puke and cries for which no number of Google searches could provide you with a solution – the truth is that in the early days it the whole thing scared the living daylights out of me.

These days we have a toddler who is determined to operate at full throttle, who gets frustrated when her demands are not complied with, who possesses the power of choice (this I greet with a sense of pride albeit frustration when she ‘chooses’ that she doesn’t want to wear shoes for her walk to nursery) and who only last week hurled a badminton racket because Judith tried to go first so that she could explain how the game was played – yes that’s right – the terrible twos are upon us.


These days Judith still does most of the day to day mechanics but at least I can play my part – usually by providing goofy yet entertaining distraction whilst Judith attends to the more important jobs (we play to our strengths you see and besides I’ve never quite overcome the trauma of ‘that’ nappy change) and I’m finally beginning to see glimpses of that walking, talking little person I was excited to meet two years ago.


It can still be hard, frustrating, annoying and sometimes downright terrifying (especially where climbing and running is involved) but one little smile, an extended hand for you to hold or puckered lips for her bedtime kiss makes you realise that this parenting lark ain’t so bad after all.

Thanks Steve 💕 

Werk, werk, werk…

Werk, werk, werk…

To work or not to work, that is the question. Well actually the reality is for most of us, that this isn’t a question at all. We simply have to work. In order to keep a roof over our families heads, fish fingers on the table and gin in the cupboard the majority of mums need to work in some capacity.

The time this becomes hardest I feel is after having a baby, whether this is your first or third, going back to work after time at home with your child is rough! The guilt alone is crippling, never mind the cost of childcare! Many will apply to return on a part time or flexible basis to try and gain some semblance of work life balance.

Sadly this is where us mamas get a raw deal a lot of the time. Statistics show that 54,000 women a year are pushed out of the workplace for pushing out a baby! A whopping 77% of the mums who do manage to keep their place in the working world face descriminatory treatment whilst there and earn roughly 15% less than their childless peers. In 2017 this should not even be an issue but it is an all too stark reality.

Thankfully there are some amazing crusaders out there trying to rectify these issues. 

Anna Whitehouse, best know as MotherPukka, has been the Lycra clad driving force for the FlexAppeal campaign. Pushing hard (flash mobbing all over the country with toddler and baby in tow!!) for workplaces to become less focused on the ‘bums on seats’ mentality of old, and more on productivity! 


Pregnant then Screwed is another amazing movement set up by Joeli Brearley to support people facing maternity discrimination and help them find the assistance and advice needed to fight against it. They are running a nationwide series of March of the Mummies on the 31st of October this year to shout out loudly about their Early Day Motion submitted to government by MP Caroline Lucas. I have attached the link to the EDM so you can all read the full details and check if your local MP has signed (if not PLEASE email and ask them to do so!)
There will be a March of the Mummies coming to Glasgow on Halloween and my lovely mama friend Hayleigh and I will be sharing all the exciting details very soon!

K x

EDM: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2016-17/1084
Stats sourced from: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/pregnancy-and-maternity-workplace/working-forward