I went to see Caitlin Moran on her How To Be A Girl book tour at Leeds Town Hall last night with my teen and we had the best time. I’ve never been inside the Town Hall before, although I do have vague memories of once drunkenly sitting on the stone lions outside *ahem* but what an amazing building it is. Who knew? Anyway, I digress. Caitlin Moran was amazing. Amazing beyond words in fact. I don’t always agree with all of her views. It’d be pretty boring if I did to be fair. But I do think that she has done incredible things for modern feminism. She makes me think. And question things. And I like that very much.
When I first heard that the book tour would be coming to Leeds, there was no question that I would have to hear her speak and it went without saying that my fifteen year old would be coming along with me. I knew that it would be sweary and undoubtedly graphic but I took a chance (and actually earned immeasurable cool mummy points which is only ever a bonus of course!) We do talk about feminism at home and it saddens me that the message is so often lost on teenage girls including my own. And that’s why feminism is more important to me than ever. Caitlin Moran really struck a chord last night when she touched on the fact that the last generation of protesting feminists changed laws and made the world the place it is for us now. Going forward, marching still has it’s place but actually it is cultural changes that will make the difference for our daughters. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to think that we could shape the future so that our daughters don’t have to face some of crap that we’ve had to? If enough of us believe this, we can make that happen.
Funnily enough, my daughter’s favourite part of the evening was when Caitlin read a letter that she had written to her own girls. The basic life lesson in there of not being a dick is one that I hammer home to her (and in those exact words) so it made us both smile. Another thing that she did take away from it all though (and perhaps the most important thing) was that feminism means different things to different people. I think feminism can be dismissed by some teenagers as being somehow irrelevant to them and they wrongly think that it means hairy legs and hating men. It’s all a bit ROARRR and well, serious. Of course, feminism for some women does mean those things but my daughter came away knowing that it didn’t have to. We all have our own take on feminism as essentially it’s about choice and equality. And actually the whole ROARRR thing can be a bloody good thing.
Caitlin reckons everything sounds better when shouted from a chair. Especially proclaiming yourself a feminist. Now Leeds Town Hall deemed that their chairs were far too delicate to be stood on. That’s how posh it is. Seriously. But when standing next to my girl in that packed auditorium last night with our arms in the air shouting “I AM A FEMINIST” I’ve never believed it more. The thing I love most about Caitlin Moran is that she asks questions and pushes boundaries and by doing so makes me do the same. This is a Very Good Thing. I came away with fire in my belly plus a whole new level of girl crush. It was the ‘feminist smile’ that got me, what can I say? Plus how often can you say that you spent the evening bonding over menses and indeed clown porn with your teenage daughter? Honestly, you had to be there. Best. Night. Ever.
I hate these last few weeks of the school year. So much to remember and not knowing whether I am coming or going. That constant feeling that I have forgotten something. Usually because I have. That end of term kind of feeling.
In these last few weeks we somehow squeezed in three school trips, an SEN catch up meeting, work experience, a sixth form visit and a prom. Yet to come is sports day and/or a reserve sports day depending on the great British weather, transition meetings to meet new teachers, an SEN moving forward meeting, a medieval banquet to attend (yes really) and a medieval outfit to find (say what now?) a sixth form welcome week and a reward day to a theme park (that I have to pay for – no I’m not sure how the school rewards good behaviour by asking parents to contribute £40 either but hey ho! Has anyone seen my cheque book?) Of course this is just the stuff that I can remember off the top of my head. Imagine all of the stuff that I have actually forgotten? And breathe.
That’s what you get for having so many children I guess. You’d think that I’d be good at this stuff by now but actually, I’ve never felt so disorganised. Four children in four different places is enough to test anybody’s juggling skills
especially if they have the memory of a goldfish like me. One in infants, another in juniors, one about to start her final year of GCSEs and my son about to (hopefully) start sixth form. Oh god at some point in August we get to find out if all that exam stress paid off don’t we? Something tells me that things aren’t going to get any easier come September.
But that end of term kind of feeling also means that the summer holidays are in sight. Three weeks and two days. Not that I’m counting. Ahem.
Posted in family, Parenting, School
Tagged Back to School, big family, children, end of term, family, family life, high school, mostly yummy mummy, primary school, school, Sixth form, summer
I’m lucky in that our primary school only ask that we buy our embroidered jumpers and cardigans from a specialist uniform shop, the rest of the uniform I can buy on the high street in school colours. So when BHS got in touch asking if we would like to review some school uniform here on the blog, I was very interested to take a look.
First of all, I have to say that I was really impressed by the vast range that they have on offer and not only that but their sizings too. From generous fit, to tall and shorter lengths there is the perfect fit for everybody. I have to say that my girls tend to be quite ‘standard’ in their sizings but I can see how handy this must be and note that there is a really comprehensive sizing guide online to make shopping even easier.
My girls love pinafores and I have to say that I do too because they are so practical. This charcoal pinafore comes as a set with the white blouse. The pinafore has a dropped waist with a pleated skirt and the blouse has short capped sleeves. Both items are made from super soft stretchy material and are really comfortable to wear. The pinafore is also pull on with a side zip so no fiddly fastenings to battle with on a morning. With prices starting at just £11 for the set, I think they are exceptionally good value.
This charcoal skirt comes from the great value range as a pack of two and prices start at just £7. The skirt has three side pleats and looks so smart. I love that it has an adjustable waist for a comfortable fit too. The material feels like great quality and has been treated with Teflon R Shield+ protecting against water and spills so will also stand up to pretty much anything that is thrown at it. Essential for my girls! The white polo shirts also come as a pack of two. They are a slim fit with capped sleeves and a little pocket on the chest and with prices starting at just £6 again, are really great value.
I have to say that I was seriously impressed by the uniform we chose from BHS. It is exceptionally good value but also very good quality. My girls are really tough on their clothes, especially their school uniform so it is essential that they wash and iron well. They have to be smart and practical but also very hardwearing. I’m pleased to say that they definitely ticked all those boxes for me.
Now I know you might think it is mad to be thinking about ‘back to school’ before the poor little mites have broken up for their summer holidays yet but, and it’s a big but, in my experience it never hurts to be too organised when it comes to these things. I know I know! But if there is one thing that four children and twelve school years has taught me it’s that summer holidays are over in a flash and school uniform does sell out. Believe me, come the end of August you do not want to be chasing around school uniform shopping. For what it’s worth, this is probably the only thing that I have learnt to be consistently on the ball with. I am my usual disorganised self for the rest of the year. Promise!
Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review I was asked to choose school uniform items to the value of £50 from BHS as shown here. All opinions are of course my own. Same goes for the gorgeous models.
Posted in Product Review, School
Tagged Back to School, BHS, Blouse, pinafore, polo shirt, quality, review, school, school uniform, skirt, uniform
I was offered the opportunity to go along to Clarks to choose some new school shoes to review here on my blog. I have to say that I am a huge Clarks fan so I jumped at the chance!
My eight year old and I went along to our local store and first of all had her feet measured only to find that her feet had grown by one whole size since our last visit. Her feet don’t tend to grow for ages then have a huge spurt but how bad did I feel? Argh! One thing that I do love about Clarks though is just how thorough the fitters are when measuring childrens feet. There is absolutely no pressure to buy shoes that you don’t need. Obviously this time though, we most definitely needed new shoes!
My daughter has very narrow feet which often means that we don’t have much choice when it comes to styles that fit her correctly but actually we had five different pairs to choose from and that was just in my request of patent leather. I have to say that I love patent shoes because not only do they look lovely and shiny, they are basically indestructible. My daughter is tough on her school shoes. And I mean really tough. Playtimes are spent running around like a loon and climbing trees plus we scoot to school and back most days so it is essential that her shoes are very hard wearing.
After much trying on, we went for this gorgeous Dance Bow Inf pair with advice and guidance from the fitter. The other ballerina style shoes were gaping a little around the front and we found that this t-bar style with an adjustable strap gave that bit more support to her very narrow feet. They fit beautifully and there is still some room for growth so she’ll get lots of wear out them yet. They tick all of my practical boxes with the patent toes and trim to the back plus they have a good thick rubber sole. Of course my daughter loves them solely because they have a bow on the front. It’s fair to say that we look for different things when choosing school shoes so the fact that we both came away happy was a very happy bonus!
The Clarks school shoes range is available in store or online and comes in both whole and half sizes as well as different width fittings. When you think of how long they wear their school shoes day in day out, I think it is essential to have their little feet measured properly and I was seriously impressed with just how thorough our fitter was in store. There really is something for everyone though with a large range of different styles and finishes to choose from smart shoes to black trainers. Our pair of shoes cost just £28 which I think given the quality and just how much wear that I expect we’ll get from them, is very good value. I think it goes without saying that Clarks school shoes get a huge thumbs up from us!
Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review I was very kindly provided with a voucher to go along to Clarks to choose some school shoes. All opinions here are of course my own.
Posted in Fashion, Product Review, School
Tagged Back to School, Black, children, Clarks, Clarks school shoes range, daughter, feet, love, Patent leather, practical, review, school, school shoes, shoes, shopping
..so it’s what I wore
Yellow floral top – H&M, vintage wash skinny jeans – Next, yellow sandals – SaltWater, butterfly bracelet – TopShop, watch – Michael Kors, initial necklace – gift from forever ago, coral nail varnish – Soigne
Well if the sunshine won’t come to me, then I will bring the sunshine to my outfit. Or something like that. Nothing like a bright sunshiney yellow to brighten up my day that’s for sure. Yellow is my favourite colour and when I spotted this top in H&M the other day, I just couldn’t resist. It has little frilled cap sleeves and pearl buttons down the front. The floral print is just so sweet and its in a lovely soft crinkly cotton. And best of all it is a size 10 woohoo! I picked up a size 12 and knew that it would swamp me just by looking at it so I dared to try a size 10 and what would you know, it only bloody well fitted me. Me. In a size 10. Happy days! Now, please don’t burst my bubble by telling me how inconsistent and often far too generous the sizings are in H&M because I just won’t listen *la la la fingers in ears while doing a I’m wearing a size 10 dance*
I can’t believe how miserable this summer is turning out to be weather wise though. I know there is time for it to change yet but seriously, skinny jeans in June? It shouldn’t be allowed! I actually vowed that this would be the summer that I would get my legs out more but the weather gods are conspiring against me. My legs aren’t that bad. Honest. I think that’s one of the reasons why I usually fall into a uniform of maxi dresses though as they are just so easy to throw on when the weather is so changeable. When it’s chilly, you can still wear them without freezing to death or looking like a prize idiot but still feel a teensy bit summery even if the weather isn’t. I think I would just rather the sun shine though. You know, like it should in the middle of June *shakes fist at sky*
So that was me, what have you been wearing this week? And more importantly, does anyone know where the sunshine is hiding?
Posted in Fashion, What I Wore Wednesday
Tagged favourite, floral print, H&M, June, Michael Kors, Next, outfit, SaltWater, sandals, skinny jeans, Soigne, summer, sunshine, Topshop, What I Wore, What I Wore Wednesday, yellow
..so you guessed it, it’s what I wore
Nancy dress in blue riviera print – Boden, silver sandals – Primark (old), Sweetie charm and Sweetie Candy Hearts bracelets – Links of London, watch – Michael Kors, coral nail varnish – Soigne, initial necklace – gift from forever ago
I think this has to be my most favourite Boden dress in the whole wide world ever! I first laid eyes on it back in a very dreary January when I could only dream of warm summer days and I knew it had to be mine. Mr Mostly bought it for my birthday back in April and here we are, still dreaming of warm summer days in June. Honestly, it’s like the weather gods are conspiring against me. I can count on one hand the number of times I have worn it so far *shakes fist at sky* So I have made a promise to myself that any glimmer of sunshine and the Nancy dress is ON!
I love the fit so much that if I could, I would definitely buy it in all the other colourways too. The print is seriously to die for though and obviously that’s what first caught my eye – love love LOVE this dress. The lovely fitted body with a v back, a not too low scoop neck, fully lined, shoulder straps wide enough to cover the scaffolding beneath, knee length and a pleated circle skirt. Oh and it has pockets. I do love me a pocket (or two!) Perfection!
These silver sandals were from Primark last year. Metallics definitely fall into the same neutral category as leopard print for me, they just seem to go with everything. As much as I love my bright yellow sunshiney SaltWater sandals (and I really do love them) I actually wish that I had bought them in silver now instead as I would get so much more wear out of them. Lesson well and truly learned.
So that was me, what have you been wearing this week? Hope the sunshine has been shining for you too!
Are you following me over on Pinterest? Lots of pretty things, frilly things, vintage things and usually lots of yummy things
Posted in Fashion, What I Wore Wednesday
Tagged Boden, dress, fashion, initial necklace, Links of London, Michael Kors, Nancy dress, Primark, print, riviera, SaltWater, sandals, silver, Soigne, style, summer, sunshine, What I Wore, What I Wore Wednesday