Saturday, 15 December 2012

Mummy must have...

Since having Tabitha I have struggled to find the time to sit and wait for nail varnish to dry. There is always something  I need to do before it is set and I end up with dodgy looking smudged nails.

Usually I'll end up taking it off intending to start again, mostly I discover that this debarkle has used up my free time slot and it never gets done.

So lovely readers I am sharing this with you because it has changed my life.

Sally Hensen Insta-Dri

I have seen stuff like this and never imagined it would work but this one actually does!

When it says dry it means dry, touch dry in a minute literally, child proof in a couple more.

Mummy can finally get her claws back out.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Singing in the Rain.

I have always loved a musical.

As a child my Dad would take me to London to see one every year for a Daddy/Daughter treat.

They are good memories and those trips fed my desire to act and be on stage.

Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 8AY

Fast forward 20 odd years and no those dreams never came true but hey ho... I still love a musical.

So when I was asked if I wanted to attend Singing in the Rain I was always going to say yes.

I decided to take my mum along this time as it was the week of her birthday and brownie points are valuable when you rely on your mum as much as I do.

I whole heartedly recommend the show as a great night out.

The Palace theatre is beautiful, a real classic building full of cherubs and marble pillars. We were seated in the dress circle which ended up being perfect seating. I'd recommend avoiding the lower circle seats at the front unless you are wearing a raincoat!

The show sees 14,000 litres of water pumped onto the stage and during the energetic tap routines there is a fair bit of 'accidental' splashing from the actors.

All this adds to the show and the die hard fans at the front wearing the free rain ponchos loved every second.

The cast were fantastic, a good blend of dancing and acting to keep you hooked from the start.

I cannot wait until Tabitha is old enough to sit through a show like this. I cannot wait to fill her head with dreams of the stage, bright lights and costume changes.

Just maybe her dreams will come true....

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

My little TV star....

The big news in our house this month has been that Tabitha-Lo has hit the big screen in her first advert.

Now I know lots of mums will have opinions on children being involved in modelling or tv but you know what? I don't really care.

I am so proud of her, she loved the day filming with Cow and Gate. They treated the children so well and she thought being set free in a recording studio with no one telling you to 'not touch' was the best fun ever.

Miss Lo features several times, although you mostly recognise her during her saxophone solo!

Well done Cow and Gate on a fantastic advert and well done Miss Lo on being a true little star.

Salty Dog Nuts!

So last Friday was one of those eventful weekends where the child visited Granny for a few days and we got to go out as a couple.

We headed out for a meal with no one kicking the table or ripping up napkins it was lovely. There was wine and olives then after the chocolate pudding we followed on to a cocktail bar.

Several hours later we returned home via taxi a little worse for wear and staggered into the flat to be confronted by this....

You see Friday saw the delivery of Salty Dog Nuts for my latest review. Of course in our drunken state we ate the lot, in seconds.

I'd love to tell you they were the most tasty and delicious nuts I've ever eaten but, well, I can't remember. Minutes later we had fallen asleep fully clothed and only 'really' knew we had eaten them in the morning when we saw the wrapper scattered over the kitchen counter.

I should have just used the cool mug they sent along for a black coffee but the nuts were way too tempting!

If you fancy stocking your cupboards for a late night snack or just to fill in the ad breaks in x factor Salty Dog Nuts are on sale at Tesco.

To celebrate the launch Salty Dog Nuts are running a competition on their Facebook page and the prize is a new iphone. Get over and enter if you fancy a chance to win.

You can also follow on Twitter.

Not that I'd know that as I am still without my twitter account! *punches air*

How the hell I have got through this post without passing comment on the name of the nuts I don't know.... I will leave that to you.

This is a sponsored post. 

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Goodbye Twitter.

I have closed my Twitter account down.

Since May 2010 Twitter has taken up much of my time and has helped me not only build my blog but also built many good friendships with other mums, without which those 3am feeds and moments of madness would/could have finished me off.

I have enjoyed the ups and downs of Twitter; the dramas of blogworld rolled out in passive aggressive tweets between rivals, the heated debate of people who just love an argument, but mostly the support of complete strangers offering advice and ((hugs)) when needed.

I have laughed out loud (for real!) and found great comfort in the humour of other mothers struggling with their daily lives just like me. I have worried about them during difficult times, I have shed tears for them both in happiness and pain, and offered helpful advise to try and support them.

I have, as have they revealed my life through 140 character snippets to nearly 3,000 people a go for several years and now it is time to close the net curtains.

I will be truly honest my recent move stems from these realisations:

I have wasted precious time on Twitter when I should have been playing with my daughter.

I have neglected my relationship and friendships to chat to thumbnail images who I will never meet.

I have neglected myself.

I have left myself exposed and its not sitting well with me anymore.

The future is about focusing on me and the two people I love most.

Don't get me wrong I will miss the community but I hope the people who I connected with most will continue to keep in touch via other means.

I hope that everyone else will remember me and my life as fondly as I remember them and feel honoured to have been allowed to peer into their lives 140 characters at a time.

So that's it.

@mumrablog RIP

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Mutu System Week 1.

After several years of being unhappy with my post baby figure I have finally admitted I need help and embarked on a 6 week course of personal trainer sessions with Mutu System.

I first heard of the system on Twitter via @mutusystem and it was clear that the founder Wendy has passion in helping women regain their tummies after child birth, especially when the condition diastasis recti has occurred.

In the past I have had ups and downs with getting my fitness back. I got quite into the gym and over came my fears of equipment and gym environments when I was given free membership with Nuffield.

However once I returned to full time work exercise fell to the back of the to do list and I forgot about it.

I never forgot how unhappy I was with my figure though.

So I booked in with Sally-Anne my local personal trainer with Mutu System. Initially she visited me at home for free and chatted about what my goals were and how the plan could help me. Sally-Anne will visit me once a week to kick my butt into shape and give me new exercises for the following week.

To get all the details on how they work to fix your mummy tummy visit the site Mutusystem.

Essentially it is short bursts of cardio and core work spread over 18 minute bursts each day.

After my first session with Sally-Anne I could not believe how much sweat was involved in such a short space of time. Usually I go to the gym (I say usually, I mean 'if') I slog away on a rower or step machine and barely break a sweat.

Not possible with Mutu System!

'The Plank' or 'How Satan Sleeps' as I have renamed it!
The exercises can be done at home, just requiring a gym ball and resistance band. I have now been enlightened to the horror of 'the plank' and I am feeling confident that this could work.

My core muscles were screaming the next day and even more so the day after that! I rolled out of bed almost as I did following the c section. The stomach muscles that have laid dormant for 2 years have awoken and they are proper grouchy!

Sally-Anne has taken my measurements and I will share the results with you as the weeks come to an end but for now I just need to concentrate on giving myself 18 minutes per day to sweat like a mad woman and achieve my goal.

Wish me luck!

Monday, 27 August 2012

For the love of dog...

Tabitha has recently developed a very vocal fear of dogs.

It hit an all time high this weekend when we visited my mums. Initially she was reluctant to leave the house, when we did and inevitably saw a dog she went totally bonkers.

It was not helped by most of them being off their leads to be honest but that was not really the issue and I am not here to moan at dog owners, I am looking for advice...

I have tried a therapy dog visiting her nursery. He was like a rug with a face and just lay down waiting for a tummy tickle, Tabitha screamed and kicked and scrambled for the nearest exit.

There has been no event we can recall that has started this reaction unless we count her freaking out quite badly when the monkeys at London Zoo raided her changing bag.

She has made the decision she 'likes cats' and not dogs.

In fact she shouts it at most dogs she sees "I LIKE CATS!" they generally just look away, disgusted.

So, do I push her to be around dogs or join her in avoiding their presence for a while?

It breaks my heart to see her so afraid but at the same time I want her and us to be able to go about our lives normally.


Sunday, 8 July 2012

John Freida 3 days straight spray review.

I have mad woman curly hair.

It is that kind of hair that every morning I wonder what the hell I would have done in a world without hair dryers and straightners.

For sure I would be single and a virgin!

So when I was asked to review John Frieda 3 days straight spray I was interested. My previous experience of john Frieda Frizz products were the serum which I have always found too heavy and never really taken to.

But I am always willing to try new products and find an answer to cutting out the every morning wash to strip the frizz and start again, which is not ideal when you need to get out the house with a 2 year old by 7:15 am every morning.

The spray arrived and I immediately jumped in the shower ( Ignore the child wearing her fathers shoes and a Everythings Rosie hairband in the background ) and applied the product before drying with a hair dryer and straighteners like always. The results were pretty good.

The next morning I woke up and it looked like this...

Compared to normal it was amazing. usually my fringe is bolt up right!

However I only felt confortable popping to the shop without my normal morning hairwash. There was no way I could have gone anywhere else without washing it again. This was not due to the lack of straightness though so I cannot knock the product. I just felt greasy and itchy without washing it in general.

So if you can go more that a day without a hairwash this product is for you. I am still going to use it because it does help with sytling straight even if I am washing it out the next morning.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Are you having a laugh? - Louis CK

I recently discovered this comedian and I had to share him with you just incase you have not heard of him. The language may offend, but frankly you are parents so I doubt it.....

His stand up about being a parent is hilarious and in my experience absolutely spot on. Here he is talking about why we should never judge other parents.

His observations about raising daughters actually had me in tears. This man is a genius.

And I have never heard anyone sum up so clearly the difference between women and girls.

If you don't laugh about some of this parenting stuff you'll cry right? I figure I'd rather laugh.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Hobbit book giveaway.

Later this year The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released in to cinemas.

To mark this the book has been relaunched and I am giving away 3 copies of new paperback.

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below talking about your experiences of the book or of reading alongside your children. I will choose three winning comments 25th June 2012.

Personally I cannot wait until I can read stories like this to Tabitha at bedtime. As a child I loved to read, to immerse myself in tales of far off places and characters. I know she will too, she already spends hours looking at books and shows vivid imagination in her role play.

Being able to sit and read aloud to her while she hangs on my every word and begs me for 'one more page' is one of those parenting moments I have longed for. I love that I will be able to roll out my GCSE Drama 'A' and finally use my  scary voices and dramatic pauses.

I read The Hobbit as an adult when I was backpacking around Asia. In those days I could read several books a day lazing in a hammock, smoking, eating mango and drinking Milo. Rushing back and forth to the tiny rental bookshop on the island, I stormed my way through the whole set of books until it was complete, I was trapped in a world of Tolkien for about three weeks.

A few months later the Lord of the Rings movies were launched and I vowed never to watch them. I don't think I could handle my visions of the characters being ruined and as hazy as my backpacking memories are, I like it that way. However the character of Bilbo Baggins being played by Martin Freeman is I think genius.

Anyway for Tabitha I shall re visit those characters again, I will enjoy recreating them for her and I hope she enjoys them as much as I did.

Saturday, 19 May 2012


Look what she did!

Cybher 2012

This time last week we were in the mists of Cybher and for me it was a day I had been looking forward to since the day it was announced.

I was very kindly offered a free ticket to attend and give a helping hand to Sian on the day.

You might have seen me handing out badges at registration, which was very handy for working out who everyone was. 

I was the one rocking my huge Tatty Devine necklace. In case you didn't get a flash of my name  badge.

The speakers were fantastic on the day and although it was physically imposssible to see everyone I wanted to, what I did see was truely inspiring. 

My highlights and lessons learnt from the day are a mixed bunch of events and they go something like this:

300 odd leather satchels smell amazing

Listening to Jennifer Begg (@livefreerange) talking about her fundraising in memory of her mother and the result - Janies School. Just awesome stuff and once I have read Half the Sky I am set on changing the world peice by peice.

Having my photo taken for SOTM by Mario Cacciottioi

Too many bloggers in a hotel lift setting off the alarm and the bar mangers face as he said 

'Did they all try and get in there together?'

Discovering online personalities are sometimes exactly what you expect in real life and sometimes really just....not. (in a good way and a bad way)

That if you leave a  gaggle of drunk female bloggers in a bar with too much free fizz there will be noise complaints and plants will get eaten.

So in a nutshell thats my low down on Cybher 2012. 

See you at Cybher 2013.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

She can sing a rainbow!

I wrote this post nearly two years ago about our 'settling song' and tonight after two long years of me singing to Tabitha-Lo she gave me a wonderful surprise.

Tonight as I sung to her like always, she joined in and sung every single word with me.

I might have shed a tear.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Feather and Black Kids Range: Nightwear.

I have been so lucky being involved in the Feather and Black bloggers reviews and their latest items did not let me down.

Tabitha was sent an item from their nightwear range. 

We chose the Betty Bow Nightdress, it being the only one available in her size. I was initially a bit gutted that the Cherry Print Pj's were for older girls as I have a real soft spot for anything with cherries on.

Generally I don't dress Tabitha in anything too girly but I have to admit I adore the Betty Bow Nightdress on her. It is a true classic and reminds me of nighties I used to wear as a child. She now calls it her 'Princess Dress' and I think I will have to eventually address her need for pastel pink in her life....

Along with the nightdress Feather and Black also sent us the first childrens book written by Adam Black 'David the Dinosaur'

The story of a dinosaur with a taste for plump little boys!

I love the book, the story is proper old school. It reminded me of a classic fairy tale full of bits of gore, drama and lots of laughs. Tabitha flicks through the pages now reading it aloud to herself we have read it so many times, although her version goes 

'David the dinosaur...Raaah boys......David the dinosaur... Hello.....Raaaah...Oh no.... David the dinosaur .....The end.'

Adam Black has also launched a range of items for David the Dinosaur including Pj's and cushions.

I continue to love Feather and Black all of the items we have reviewed and the items I have purchased are fantastic, I cannot recommend them enough.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Is this the end?

I kind of made a pact with myself to never blog about blogging.

This feels right though and there is no better place to air my feeling than on here.

I am feeling really tempted to chuck it all in. In fact I am feeling almost as excited about the decision as I was when I first started this blog.

There are a few things that are keeping me hanging on. I do still really enjoy the engagement with companies that blogging has brought me. I enjoy reviewing items and love giving opinions and sometimes feeling they are listened to. Of course all the blogging perks are lovely too, and frankly I worked damn hard at the start to build this blog up and be in a position to be offered anything at all. However, my days have become culled into a few hours per evening that also require fitting in mothering, girlfriending and occasionally some breathing...

I have no time for the blog. I struggle to write reviews and sponsored posts and my networking and klout were given up on a long long time ago.

I used to love a link up, I ran a link up that I was really proud of. I never do them anymore even when I love the themes and know what photo or song I would use. I just don't have the time, or if I do it would mean giving up one of my other roles for half and hour and they are tightly stretched as it is.

The main thing that keeps me hanging onto this site by a thread is essentially this; I made it, I grew it from a bedtime conversation and it has at times gone beyond my highest expectations. I would feel a great loss to give up but part of me is sensing a huge amount of relief might be involved too.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Not enough hours in the day....

I am having a battle with myself.

Due to changes in Early Years  it will soon become necessary for all nursery managers to have a Level 4 qualification. I am old school, I have a Level 3 coupled with a bucket load of experience. 

However I realise this experience is not going to help me once these regulations change and I am up against a workforce full of Level 4 qualified competition.

So, the big question is do I take on a degree alongside being mother to a toddler and working full time? Or would that just be mental?

Sunday, 12 February 2012

White Rabbit England Review.

I was asked if I would like to review a nightlight from White Rabbit England and seeing as bedtime is always a bit of an issue at Mumra Towers I thought trying out a nightlight might be a good idea.

When it arrived I was I have to say gobsmacked by its beauty. This nightlight is perfection itself, made from pure white china the bulb inside makes the whole thing glow and radiates a soft and comforting light.

The rabbit is such high quality that when it is off it simply looks like a figurine in its own right.

Tabitha loves the bunny and it has helped with bedtime by creating such a cosy and relaxing vibe.

White Rabbit England don't just make rabbits, there are owls, dogs and lots of other styles of mushrooms or houses.

In fact the whole site is rather gorgeous. Check it out.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Cybher 2012 Meet and Greet....

I am attending Cybher12 on May 12th this year. A blogging conference for ALL female bloggers.

Last year was all about Cybermummy, I begged and blagged for sponsorship and was lucky enough to be sponsored by Maclaren to attend. 

This year for Cybher12 I am lucky enough to be attending without sponsorship as I have volunteered my services to Sian for the event. I am staying on site at the conference location for the Friday and the Saturday so if you see me say hi! 

( I will be a bit drunk, holding a cocktail)

Here is my blurb:

Name : Sarah aka Mumra

                           Twitter ID: @mumrablog

Height : Bit shorter than my boyfriend, bit taller than my child.
Hair : Brown, grateful for defrizzing products and straighteners.

Five things you should know about me...
1. My teeth are very straight
2. My daughter is a genius
3. I am the best mother in the world
4. I am fabulous
5. I am not as arrogant in real life

Glossy Box Review Part 2 : The one where I admit I was wrong.

I was not overly impressed with my first Glossy Box, even less impressed with my second. I talked about them here and decided they were not for me.

Never the less the PR company continued to send them, they even offered to send  a Glossy Box for Men for my boyfriend.

It was a good move on the part of the PR company. I have become very fond of my Glossy Box delivery, the content has improved greatly in the last few boxes. There are less sample size items and more useful gorgeous stuff. My boyfriend has purchased a new scent from his box and it shows how well this concept works for products featured inside. 

As a parent I really haven't spent the same amount of time browsing round beauty departments trying every new product or perfume, I just don't have the time or the patience. This service means I get to do it all in the comfort of my own home and the quality of the boxes themselves is lovely. I have re organised my whole bathroom cabinet with storage solutions and it looks fab.

So I have been won over, Glossy Box rocks. Get one, get one a month. Do it.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Feather and Black Kids Range: Linen.

Since becoming an official tester for Feather and Black Tabithas' room has been transformed. Gone is the cot, gone is the change unit, we are now in 'big girl' mode. The selection of childrens beds is outstanding, we chose a Noah bed and could not be more happy with our choice. So far we have avoided any falling out of the bed incidents and we are still over the moon with the quality of the items. 

Noah Toy Box

Her toys are now easily tidied away and stored in her toy box and the bed gives us great storage underneath for other items like all the outgrown clothes I can't bring myself to get rid of. I have also treated her to a Noah step which means she can now access the bathroom sink in style to wash her hands and fingers crossed will be of great use when we start the dreaded 'toliet training'. It looks so much nicer than those plastic ones and will last for years.      
Noah Step

Our latest item for review was a choice of the linen range at Feather and Black. The options were endless, we finally decided on a quite gorgeous patchwork number which looks amazing and finishes the whole set off beautifully. As always the quality is fantastic and it has washed without fading even with my shoddy laundry skills.

They still have a fantastic sale on, so get over to the site and bag yourself a bargain!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Peppa Pig must die!

This will be a short post. 

Tabitha is obsessed with Peppa Pig. There is no other programme she wants to watch nothing else she wants to do and not one episode we have not seen.

Yes, I am even that mother holding my iPhone out on the train streaming utube episodes every morning for 5 minutes peace.

I was awoken the other night at 3am by a hysterical child screaming 'GEORGE!' and reaching down the side of the bed to rescue a soft toy who was sat happily on a pillow smirking at me.

I have had enough of that oinky little pig and her whole family.

Bacon sandwich anyone?

Monday, 2 January 2012

Green Giant Winner

And the winner is......


Well Done Sarah, really hope you all enjoyed the vegetable hamper that arrived on Christmas Eve just in time for the festivities.

For more tips on getting your children to eat their 5 a day pop over to Green Giant Facebook page.