Why We ARE Doing Presents This Christmas

Last year when I boldly declared “we’re not doing presents” I felt relieved, wholesome and that my soul had been relinquished from the consumerist-Demogorgans that feast on the festering flesh of Christmas morning aka our children. A touch dramatic? Perhaps! But hopefully this conveys the modicum of hope this brought to my festive season of 2016. I’d, of course, hoped this would become our Christmas tradition and our children would shed their greed nourished, Philistinian skins to reveal Swallow & Amazon-esque delights – charmingly feral, lacking in materialistic desires; but then I realised I’m not 21 and my pelvic floor is shattered, so promptly readjusted my expectations.

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A Little Photo Book Magic from Ella’s Books

What I’m about to tell you is a true story – and while parts of this tome may ring true with families across the world, there’s a happy ending and a solution to this universal problem. Intrigued? Read on!

It was back in August when I received a delightful (that’s not a word I use lightly in 2017, so trust me when I use it!) email from Ella of Ella’s Books. Sat on Brighton beach, in the summer sun, watching the boys throwing stones out to sea (not at each other for change, which made this moment particularly blissful!), I read Ella’s invitation to have one of her bespoke photo books made using our family photos. Now, let me tell you – as a family blogger with a shed load a kids, I get a lot of offers for photo books, none of which have tickled my pickle in the slightest – they’re glossy, mass printed, badly bound tripe (sorry, I feel strongly about this, can you tell?); but from the moment I clicked through to Ella’s Books site I could see and feel the difference. The attention to detail, the care she pours into every book and the personal touches – really make a huge difference. So, I said “yes” within a matter of minutes.

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Meet The Jams | The Financial Truth

I’d be fibbing if I said The Mumsnet thread hadn’t rocked my somewhat rainbow hued boat; or, at least temporarily punctured my Instagram-bubble of confidence in people’s kindness. I’d managed to learn from its well-hidden teaching with regards to a layperson’s understanding of all the garb surrounding #ad or #gifted and adjust my posts to ensure no one was left unclear as to whether money had changed hands, I’d been sent a freebie or if it required #Ipayforshittoo! I’d taken the constructive feedback and managed to move on to a more positive place, until the subtext of that thread was thrust back in my path amongst the comments on my instagram, similar to a mouthful-of-Weetabix sneeze coming your way – it was unexpected, a bit grainy and not wholly welcome.

It was a well-meaning comment on an average Instagram post; the image is irrelevant to this tome, but the comment, in part, tickled my goat again.  It’s the perception that ALL “insta-mums” are “well-off/middle-class” and occasionally flouted as “elitist” that irks my tits.

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Road to Rehab: The Intro

Luckily, there was a time pre-iphones, pre-instagram and pre-blogging – yes, this time existed; not well documented but real none-the-less. For this reason, my early days of motherhood and even my most recent pregnancy were not well documented (they said I was supposed to glow ffs!!!). It’s because of this lack of documentation and the fact I’m so busy juggling just to stay in the present and make sure everyone is at football training on time, that I sometimes neglect the past – don’t pay it homage – don’t appreciate that it’s made me who I am and take for granted that not everyone who reads my blog or follows our lives on Instagram is a mind reader, and knows why I say some of the things I say, do what I do or feel so strongly about some things.

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Pick It and Eat It – Sugar Free Raspberry Muffins | With Robinsons #Ad

I seem to spend my life shouting “don’t pick it and eat it!”, we have one boy (who shall not be named!) who is a fan of his own organic nasal produce; so, when Robinsons asked if we wanted to go (fruit) picking and eat it – I knew I had the right kids for the job.

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