I may not the blogger you are looking for!

See also “Why I’m a shit blogger”.

I love writing – but blogging – I’m not very good. I can’t play the game.

I don’t schedule posts.

I don’t write about current events.

I don’t know what a no follow link is.

I don’t read other blogs unless a title really shouts out to me.

I don’t work hard on getting views, likes or numbers (which is why they’re so low).

I don’t look at my stats. Unless something goes a bit crazy!

I can’t do SEO – I can’t be bothered and I don’t understand it.

I did try – I did reviews (never was I paid for one). I didn’t realise I could ask for money to be honest. Writing them was just not very nice. I didn’t lie – but trying to think of 100 words on nipple balm was a stretch for me.

I would make a terrible sales woman.

It’s a shame as only this week I was offered the chance to review a shoe shop and get free shoes for my FOUR children. Whoa Nelly! Where did the other two come from?

 

I am hoping that brands will be able to put stats to the side… choose quality – and my blogging failings won’t affect my ability to one day make a bit of money from my words.

Oh the fun we’ll have this Easter : Hoppy Easter with Matalan

I might have considered Easter fun for our family as solely involving chocolate eggs and desperately trying to fashion garish bonnets and then forcing my son’s to wear them … but that was before Matalan kindly sent our family a huge bumper box of fun; Easter style – no chocolate in sight (but I won’t hold that against them).

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I have grouped the Matalan Easter Package into three categories that I’m excited to share with my three year old son over Easter.

Category 1: In the kitchen

The first two products that caught my eye were the Hoppy Easter cake accessories kit which includes cute cup cake bases and miniature flags to place on the top with carrots, bunnies and chicks on them.

As well as this there is a set of Hoppy Easter Cookie cutters with bunny, chick and egg shapes. I have done barely any baking with my son since his birth (Alas – I’m not one of those pinterest mums with immaculate shots of flour covered children grinning behind a gluten free Victoria sponge) but this has inspired me to give it a go this Easter. How hard can it be to make biscuits? And cup cakes? I’m sure there must be ready made packets – and I am sure my three year old would love12422340_662714813866722_21320537_o it – and we would all love eating them, that’s for sure!

Category 2: Arts and crafts, Easter style.

The Matalan Easter fun package also includes a set of decorate your own’ easter eggs with paints and stickers and a handy leaflet of how you can decorate the eggs – A wonderful idea for messy play.

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As well as this was a set of kids colouring pencils and a colour therapy colouring book. I have become hooked on colouring in to relieve stress over the last few weeks thanks to this book. So it’s not just the three year old having all the fun.

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Category 3: In the garden (spring has sprung)

Perhaps the most eggciting (I apologise) part of this Matalan Easter fun package has been the possibilities for fun in the garden now that spring is on its way and the weather is picking up.

Firstly it contained a gorgeous picnic blanket and cooler bag. We are in the process of moving house and will have a garden for the first time in years. The package also included a frisbee and a bubble set conjuring images of my boys having lots of fun in our new garden. The baby (eight months) will love the bubbles – I can’t wait.

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Even more exciting (and my favourite part of the set) was the garden magnifier and a bug keeper. Thanks to ‘what the ladybird heard’ and ‘superworm’ by Julia Donaldson, my three year old is quite taken with insects and tiny creatures. I can’t wait to explore our new garden with him and study the nature in it.

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Finally the Matalan Easter package has a large Easter Egg Hunt kit that includes bunnies with flags, four eggs, assorted flags and wooden sticks for setting up a super eggstravaganza of Easter egg hunt fun (apologies).

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Our house has been in turmoil over the last couple of weeks with illness and our impending house move – this package has given me lots of ideas to spend quality time with both my boys over the weekend, do things we have not done, and really enjoy Easter as a family – something which I am pretty sure I would not have thought about doing before.

That’s my Easter weekend sorted – Now I just need to go and buy some chocolate eggs and some cake mix for dummies! Thanks Matalan

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Brows on fleek at Brows by Fran

Brows by Fran

I first met Fran in Leeds when she worked at a well known make up brand’s brow bar. I braced myself for the lottery you get when you go for a wax and tint. I have been left in the past with lop sided brows, brows that resemble Noel Gallagher’s, a true Scouse brow – and worse than all of these; brows that looked exactly the same as they did when I went in.

Brows by Fran
The amazing Fran

Fran is the sort of person you meet and within two minutes you feel like you’ve known her for ten years and you get through your entire life story in the consultation. As well as her cracking personality I can whole heartedly swear that my eyebrows have never ever looked as fantastic as when she had got her hands on them.

I am naturally fair haired and have barely there eyebrows. If I have been in the sun they get bleached and basically disappear. I was also an over-plucker in my teens so my eyebrows have never been my strong point.

For the first time in my life people were complimenting me on my brows.

As a busy mum I don’t get much time to do my make (or my hair, or to wash) so having good eyebrows make all the difference. And when I say they make all the difference – I am not exaggerating. I think they frame your face and are the most important part of your make up routine.

I continued to go to Fran and only Fran for years. I made the mistake of going to an extremely expensive local salon on one occasion and had to go back to Fran the day afterwards to correct their mistakes.

I genuinely won’t trust anyone else with my eyebrows now. It’s just like when you find an amazing hairdresser and you won’t go anywhere else.

So when she said she was setting up on her own in Bradford I had to follow her there. She has set up her own brow bar in Bradford in a hair salon about three minutes walk from the train station : Brows by Fran!

She did my eyebrows for my wedding a month ago – as well as my lip hair (well, my moustache – I’m not fooling anyone). She is also offering make overs.

Top left: original brows top right: after tint and wax bottom two: styling them out with make up
Top left: original brows top right: after tint and wax
bottom two: styling them out with make up

Fran says about her background

“I qualified as a beautician four years ago and even in college I just seemed to have a knack for eyebrows. After a stint on cruise ships I found my home at one of the leading brow bar cosmetic company’s in the UK; a perfect job. I worked there for two and half years becoming a brow ambassador for the brand and training new “browticians”, and managers in all things eyebrow, and

“I think I have genuinely just found my niche.”

And about going it alone:

“I felt like I needed a challenge and I wanted to combine both eyebrows and make overs, besides, who wouldn’t love an opportunity at being their own boss? I genuinely love my job, it’s fills me with joy when I see the look on a customer’s face when I’ve finished their eyebrows or make up, smiling from ear to ear.”

And her philosophy:

“It’s not just ‘doing eyebrows’, it’s tailoring those eyebrows to each individual person, it’s listening to what that person wants to achieve.”

“It’s making sure that the customer knows what’s going to happen and isn’t scared or worried. It’s reassuring that customer and making them feel comfortable with me.”

“Eyebrows are a huge part of fashion and are so important and personal to every individual. To me, It’s not just a job it’s a passion.

If you are in the Yorkshire area I highly recommend Brows by Fran; to get your eyebrows on fleek and to make a new friend.

 

You can find Brows by Fran and all her details on Facebook! Hop on over and give her a ‘like’.

Brows by Fran, Bradford
I need a make over like this – by this lady

 

If you have a business in Yorkshire you would like me to review please get in contact at mummyswritingdarling@yahoo.co.uk

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review.

 

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The Rainbow Factory, Leeds Review

Let me tell you a bit about me. I’m a few months away from turning three and I’m a rebel. I don’t like to follow the crowd. You can’t call me a sheep! I’m more like the wolf. I have a short attention span. I was also a latecomer to the English language.

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The Rainbow Factory, leeds review

Last week my mum took me out, and not to a soft play or to bound about the park like a labrador. She seemed a little anxious, I don’t know why she always looks so stressed on our outings. We took my little baby brother too.

The Rainbow Factory, Leeds
The rainbow Factory, leeds

The place was unlike anywhere I’ve been before. It was called ‘The Rainbow Factory’. I like rainbows. A kind woman read a story about Christmas – something I don’t understand yet but I liked watching the other children describe ‘Reindeers’ – one has a red nose apparently. I also sat on the floor listening very well for five minutes. My mum said this is a personal best.

We walked around this magical place with dragons and wizards and trolls. I don’t know what these are yet but I loved looking at them – they felt like magic. We got to collect these special jewels and things in a special cone. I presume these were for protection from the dragon.

Mummy's Writing Darling, Leeds
The Rainbow Factory, Leeds, Review

Afterwards we sat down at a table and got to use our special jewels and string to make our very own christmas tree. It was fun and colourful.

But all of that was nothing compared to what I found next. I found the best things in the world. Mummy said they were called “bean bags”. I ran around and jumped up and down on every bean bag until I could barely breathe. I made friends who joined me … I’m so influential – because I’m so cool. Mummy looked stressed again and went off for a coffee. Really don’t know what she worries about.

The Rainbow Factory, Leeds
The Rainbow Factory, Leeds

I ran around and around and found a huge dressing up box. I dressed up like my favourite character in my favourite book – The Tiger who came to tea.

The rainbow factory, leeds
The Rainbow Factory, Leeds

I found a load of books and had a good flick through them and ran around in a large room no one else had even bothered to go in!

I started to feel quite wet. I had some apple juice and a bit of cake to replenish my energy reserves.

Mummy seemed to relax and even dressed up too!

The Rainbow Factory, Leeds, Review
Mummy’s Writing, Darling

We stayed for ages and I didn’t want to leave. I slept all the way home in the car. I dreamt of the dragons and wizards and trolls… I’d like to know more about them.

Mummy’s side of the story

The Rainbow Factory was a nostalgic walk down traditional story-time memory lane.

The feel of the exhibition had all the magic of The Brother’s Grimm and John Hurts’ Storyteller. Though the characters and themes were new to my son – this didn’t negatively affect his experience. His attention was retained throughout.

But the best thing for a stressed out mum of a toddler rebel was that he was able to express himself in his own unique way – and we weren’t made to feel out of place or like we were the outsiders (which can sometimes happen).

I could see other children on our tour, who are not like mine, who have better language, or who are older, who connected with the place in a different way. But my son was able to be physical and explore and be himself with no judgement.

I think, in that way – any child can take something from The Rainbow Factory. Mine took a taste of magic, an interest in dragons and a top up to his self esteem.

I also got to have a lovely cup of coffee and a bit of time to myself (and baby [toddler rebel two in the making])

The Rainbow Factory, Leeds
Mummy’s Writing Darling

Click here for more information about The Rainbow Factory

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