A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JO LOVE – FOUNDER OF LOBELLA LOVES

DAY IN THE LIFE, motherhood

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Lobella Loves is a newly launched online shop full of beautiful treasures for your little one. Behind the digital shop front there is more! Founder Jo Love has built a business designed to make a difference and donates a percentage from every single sale to Cocoon Family Support, a charity supporting families suffering from pre and postnatal mental health issues.

Jo has also launched an amazing campaign called ‘Notes of Hope’ where she donates handpicked gifts to mothers receiving support via Cocoon, accompanied by a handwritten letter of hope from a mother who has been through a similar experience.

The response to the campaign has been overwhelming with supporters and postnatal depression survivors submitting letters sharing their personal experience with the condition and a positive message for those currently suffering. I can only imagine how comforting it must be to receive a lovely gift and a heartfelt letter of hope from someone who has been through it.

I love businesses that seek to help and support others and especially love the story and concept behind Lobella Loves, so when Jo invited me to choose a gift I jumped at the chance to be involved…

…Choosing which gift from all the options on the site was the hard part but eventually I settled on an amazing bright and fun neon cactus light! Jo kindly sent me one as well as sending one to a Mum currently receiving treatment for a perinatal mental health issue (either in hospital or on an intensive treatment programme). I only hope that when the Mum receiving it switched it on it brought a smile to her a face, as it did mine.

I think you’ll all agree the Notes of Hope campaign sounds pretty special. I certainly did! And I wanted to know more about the woman behind it all, partly because I’m nosy and partly because she sounds bloody amazing!! So what does a day in the life of a Mum running an online business and charity campaign look like?!

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This is the first post in my new ‘A Day in the Life‘ series where we get a sneak peak behind-the-scenes into the real lives of interesting and inspiring entrepreneurial women. Here Jo Love shares what life is like for her as she juggles her young family with running Lobella Loves….

I WAKE UP …very unnaturally anywhere between 5:30am and 7am depending on when my human alarm clock (otherwise known as my two-year-old daughter Bella) wakes up and starts singing the ‘Wheels on the bus’ on repeat at the top of her lungs!

MY TYPICAL DAY…starts as soon as the toddler whirlwind opens her eyes! The morning routine is a pretty chaotic dance between me and my husband trying to get everyone up, clean, fed and out of the door with minimal tears and spilled porridge. I have been known to come out of an important work meeting to find rouge Weetabix smears across my front. Luckily most of the people I’m meeting these days are parents themselves.

After childcare drop-offs I’ll usually settle into answering any emails I haven’t gotten to the previous day. I love the variety of entrepreneurial-life as no two days are the same. One day I can be in town socialising and networking with the Insta-mums or working from Google Campus’ co-working space in the City the next! This is very different to my previous, much more routine, life as a lawyer.

Until launching Lobella Loves I worked as a corporate lawyer for the best part of a decade, and although it was an incredible career, my new world feels far more suited to lifestyle and my entrepreneurial spirit.

Every day, whatever else I may be doing, I am on Instagram. I am an addict. It’s somewhere I find my beautiful products and wonderful sellers, but also an incredible support network. Many connections that started in the virtual world have now crossed the dividing line and have become my real life friends. If you’d said to me 5 years ago some of my closest gals pals would be people I’d met on the internet I would have called you crazy!

AFTER WORK…when you run your own business it’s hard to know exactly when work is done for the day. There is always something to do. However recently I’ve tried to get much better at switching off the laptop and having some time out. Self-care was for a long time a completely alien concept for me, now I actively try and switch off and have some me-time. Lately I’ve started using the Headspace meditation app which has really helped me get the most from those precious moments of chill.

THE WORST PART OF MY JOB…Is realising I only have a certain amount of time and therefore I really have to prioritise what needs to get done and when. In a similar way, I’m learning to get better at delegating and knowing when and what to give to someone else.

THE BEST PART OF MY JOB… Is being able to help other Mums struggling with mental health issues. We donate money from every single sale to Cocoon Family Support, a charity helping support Mums with perinatal mental health illnesses. I suffered badly with postnatal depression after the birth of my daughter, so when setting up the company I had a really strong urge to help others and it was a great tonic for me and helped my recovery. Giving back helping to fight the stigma and helping other mums have become part of the DNA of the company. My mantra is IT’S COOL TO BE KIND!

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And what an awesome mantra that it?? I think we could all do with a IT’S COOL TO BE KIND slogan tee!

Big thanks to Jo for being the first Mama to take part in my new A DAY IN THE LIFE series! I hoped you liked reading about Jo’s day as much as I did! I’m sure many of you will relate to the juggle/struggle and the difficulty with taking time out when you run your own biz. I certainly struggle with allowing myself time for self-care and knowing when to delegate to others.

If you want to find out more about the amazing work Jo does through Lobella Loves and how you can get involved and support (or just to browse and shop) make sure you visit Lobella Loves.

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Show someone they’re loved this Christmas

motherhood

So I guess you have all seen the John Lewis Man On The Moon Christmas Ad, unless you’ve been in total digital hibernation or avoiding it because you’re not feeling emotionally strong enough (that was me at first).

If you’ve not seen it, here it is, in all its full emotive glory:

Yes it’s advertising but it’s also kinda true. So many older people spend Christmas alone, either in care homes with no visitors or in their own homes, totally isolated. I spent 3 years working in care homes when I was younger and saw the day-to-day loneliness firsthand, but I can’t think of a worse time to be alone than at Christmas, a time traditionally spent with family, a time of love and giving. According to Age UK, 1 million older people go for a month without speaking to anyone. Can you even imagine? One day of no adult communication brings me to the brink.

So I think it’s brilliant that John Lewis are working with Age UK this Christmas to highlight this huge and distressing issue. And it got me thinking, what could I do? I can’t really volunteer my time, as much as I’d like to, because I don’t have any childcare, nor any family nearby to help. I could donate a few pound which would go towards funding the Age UK advice line, but I wanted to do more.

So THE LOVE BOX CAMPAIGN was born. And what better day to launch it than today? The 1st of December when the Christmas Countdown really begins and people start buying their loved ones presents with earnest. It also happens to be GIVING TUESDAY! I haven’t made that up… After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is a day to give something back. So today feels like the perfect time to launch The Love Box Campaign.

So what is a Love Box?

A Love Box is a thoughtfully prepared box of goodies which will be delivered to an older person this Christmas, who might otherwise not receive anything. It’s a box of love. It is a gift that lets the recipient know somebody cares about them.

And what is The Love Box Campaign?

It might be slightly ambitious (all the best ideas are, no?)  but I am hoping to be able to deliver 100 Love Boxes to older people in the community before Christmas.

How can you help?

You can buy a Love Box here, and include a personal message for the recipient if you wish. It would be great if you could share the love and tell your friends about the campaign too using #theloveboxcampaign and #100boxesoflove.

Together we can make a difference this Christmas by sharing the love.

 

 

THE DOUBLE MAMA’S XMAS GIFT GUIDE

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Ok so Christmas is officially LESS THAN 4 WEEKS AWAY (!!!) and if you’re anything like me you’ll be starting to feel slightly panicked right now. If you’re sat smugly reading this, with your shopping already done and gift wrapped, then well done you. But I’m going to assume that you’re not representative of the majority of people.

So to help you guys out (and myself), I thought I’d round up the stuff I’ve been buying, lusting over, or reckon would make an ace gift for the big and little people in your life….

If you’ve got any suggestions for stuff that should be included please let me know!

For the MEN in your life (be that husband, boyfriend, father, brother, other)

Beer 52 – subscribe and have a handpicked box of craft beers delivered monthly to your beer-loving loved one – or just buy as a one-off! Use this * link * to get £10 off your first order making a crate of 10 craft beers just £14!

beer 52

 

Alternatively if they are more of a coffee-drinker than a beer-drinker (or you’re trying encourage slightly more healthy habits) then go for a PACT coffee subscription instead. Another gift that keeps on giving, the guys at PACT will deliver a delicious bag of freshly ground coffee as frequently as you wish. If this sounds like something you’d like to try yourself, use this * link * to try a bag for just £1 including delivery! Be warned though, it’s addictive stuff!

pact coffee

 

For the MAMAS in your life (be that yourself, your own mama, your sister or one of your mama mates)

Selfish Mother Sweater – I’ve bought a number of t-shirts for myself and friends but am yet to get my hands on a sweater. Definitely hoping Santa delivers me one this Christmas! Not only do these Mother Sweaters from Molly of Selfish Mother look super cool and comfy, they’re for a good cause – all profits go to Women for Women UK. (So far the sale of Mother sweaters and tees has raised an incredible £40,000 for the charity!). Go Molly!

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Cult of Youth MAMA chain – if you can get one, DO IT. Be warned though, they are massively in demand and frequently sell out but are oh so awesome.

cult of youth mama chain

 

Tiba+Marl Bag – well if your kid’s going to have one (see below), you certainly deserve one. The best nappy bags out there by a bazillion miles. Launched just this year by a power mum duo, they are already stocked in Harrods! I LOVE my floral Elwood backpack but the Raf holdall is now top of my Xmas list. A girl can’t have too many bags, right?! Plus, new baby, new change bag. Seems only fair.

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Mere Soeur goodies – Perfect gifts for your best Mama mates. From Boob Appreciation Mugs (no I didn’t make that up) and Mums of Anarchy badges, to cool tees and useful tote bags. It’s all about the sisterhood and everything is really reasonably priced and many items are hand-printed by the lovely Mama behind it all.

boob appreciation mug

 

A Weathered Penny – Awesome AND affordable jewellery. Be warned though you will want to buy one of everything on the website. These pieces make perfect gifts… for yourself. Or friends. Maybe your sister. But mostly for yourself 🙂

a weathered penny

 

For the BABIES in your life:

This lot can be pretty tricky to buy for since they are so easily entertained with a cardboard box and some tissue paper, but here are a few suggestions for special gifts that Mama is sure to treasure (even if baby prefers the packaging it arrived in).

  1. A brightly-coloured, hand-crocheted blanket with pom poms (!) from Hollie at Flora Fairweather. Truly a gift to be kept forever. Check out her gorgeous Instagram feed here. She also makes beautiful, equally-colourful, hats and booties, all with fun pom poms of course!flora fairweather blanket

2. A pair of gorgeous, hand-made, leather moccasins from Amy & Ivor. I particularly love the little high-tops and have recently bought a pair for my Arlo Bear (unintentional rhyme right there). I also love the metallic platinum moccasins and the furry cheetah moccasins from the special limited collection. Oh and the pretty Erin shoes (if only a girl!). Really I just love them ALL. But if you want some for xmas, make sure you act fast because they are made to order and can take up to 2 weeks.

amy & ivor cheetah moccasins

 

3. A cute pair of PJs with a fun print from The Bright Company (and perhaps a pair for Mama too – #twinningiswinning afterall)

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4. An ultra-sweet Marta Mini for a baby girl – handmade by Sophie & Co and available in a variety of fabrics (this was top of my mental shopping list for baby no.3 but alas it’s another boy!).

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5. Alternatively absolutely anything from Cissy Wears is sure to go down well. The Mama behind this online concept store is the Queen of Enabling so make sure you have your credit card at the ready!

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For the BIGGER kids in your life:

1. Go outside the lines – buy a fun poster with an appropriate life motto for the kids to colour in. It can then be framed and hung (without ruining the minimalist insta-friendly vibe) in the home/their bedroom and makes a welcome change from the usual ‘art’ you feel obliged to stick up! Plus it’s always nice (and rare) to find an activity that keeps kids occupied and doesn’t involve any technology!

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2. Ruff & Huddle – I’ve just bought my big boy an awesome bomber jacket that I know he is going to LOVE. Check out their full range, all designed by a mega Mama.

ruff and huddle ma1 bomber

3. Tiba+Marl Mini Elwood backpack – if it wasn’t enough that these guys make the coolest changing bags around for parents, they have just launched mini versions of the super-popular Elwood backpack for the little ones in your life. If you’re a fan of the #twinningiswinning trend (and who isn’t?!) then you need to get your hands on one of these (and one for yourself obvs, see above).

tiba and marl mini elwood

 

For the SIGNIFICANT OTHER in your life:

This is perfect whether or not you’re a parent but especially so if you are, because parents are always in desperate need of a break, am I right? Or is that just me?! No, everyone needs a break (and Mums and Dads most of all).

What makes this gift even more perfect is that you totally get the benefit too. A complete ‘Win Win’ situation.

Introducing… THE WEEKEND AWAY. I’ve decided (although have never actually been) that Amsterdam is THE destination for the perfect long weekend away. Paris has been overdone. Any further afield (like NYC where I went for my b’day) and the excitement is somewhat mediated by the distance and the worry that sets in when you think about how many miles (and hours if there was an emergency) you are away from your precious monsters. So with that in mind, Amsterdam is just perfect. Plus you can get there on the Eurostar and BYOB, which I much prefer to Ryanair and paying a fiver for a bottle of water.

To help you plan the ultimate weekend away to Amsterdam, get your hands on an e-copy (which can be read on any device) of A Perfect Day in Amsterdam: Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall by Hilde Veeren and ensure you don’t waste a single precious minute. Hilde is not only a fellow Mama (based in Amsterdam), she also runs the international travel blog Fish & Feathers with her husband, is managing director for a fashion mag and writes freelance for Grazia and others. So it’s safe to assume she knows how to make best use of your time.

Buy the guide now and start plotting your escape immediately!!

a perfect day in amsterdam

 

GIFTS for the GRANDPARENTS:

A personalised photo calendar from somewhere like Photobox is not exactly shopping independently (which I am making a conscious effort to do this Christmas) nor is it spectacularly imaginative and they do take a little time and effort to make, but grandparents seem to really, really love them. And you can just make the one and then order duplicate copies for the both sets (or more, if like me all four grandparents live separately!).

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The PERFECT gift for the whole family (including grandparents):

A voucher for Emily Gray Photography Services. This super-talented, in-demand Mama is offering personalised vouchers which can be put towards a photo shoot and prints. I reckon this is the perfect pressie for the whole family and gives you something you will treasure forever.

Check out my interview with the amazing Charlotte here. Plus get 10% off by quoting ‘DOUBLEMAMA’.

emily gray photography voucher

 

The PERFECT Stocking Fillers for the whole family:

Yes Mum cards make the perfect stocking filler! ORIGINAL cards for the Mamas in your life (yourself included), MINI cards (for the little people) and HUMAN cards (for everyone else). Fist pumps all round!

yes mum cards

 

And for the TRICKY ones in your life / on your list:

Don’t Buy Her Flowers – Initially launched with new Mums in mind, a beautifully wrapped, tailored package of treats and goodies is the perfect pressie for anyone in need of some TLC and R&R. You can create the perfect package for your lucky recipient with a number of add-ons that include gin, fizz, luxury socks or even a COOK voucher. Akin to receiving a great big warm hug in a box, I am confident there is no woman on earth who would not appreciate this thoughtful gift.

don't buy her flowers recovery package

 

FILMS FOR FAMILIES:paddington bear

Christmas time feels like the perfect time for family films (or games, but films tend to lead to less fights than monopoly). However I have a very limited attention span and I resent spending 2+ hours of my life watching something annoyingly cheerful and full of song. So here are a couple films I’ve seen lately which I genuinely enjoyed and proper LOL’d at and would make good pressies/stocking fillers…

Paddington Bear

Big Hero 6

If you have any suggestions for films I can add to this list please let me know!

 

BOOKS FOR BOYS:

I’ve spent a long time trying to encourage my eldest son to read. It’s not that he finds it difficult, in fact quite the opposite, he can whiz through pages. But he finds it boring. Which breaks my heart. I spent so many hours as a kid reading late into the night, long after I was meant to be asleep, tilting the book towards the crack of light that shone in under my door from the landing. I used to lose hours of my life reading and I loved it, so I find it really upsetting that until recently he finds it just a drag to even read a chapter.

BUT WE HAVE HAD A BREAKTHROUGH!the boy in the dress

Here are some books my 8 year old son actually enjoys reading (so if you have to buy for any boys of a similar age this Christmas, chances are they might be into these too)…

Any from The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Any from the Tom Gates series.

The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams

 

 

And finally, a gift of LOVE…

the love box campaign

This week (watch this space!) I’m launching The Love Box Campaign. The aim of the campaign is to deliver 100 boxes of love to older people in the community, who might otherwise not receive anything this Christmas. Please support the campaign by buying a Love Box here and sharing the love online using #theloveboxcampaign #100boxesoflove. It’s a sad truth that many older people in the community spend Christmas alone, so let’s do our best to let those most in need know they’ve not been forgotten this year.

the love box campaign

 

I hope you find this list helpful and if you think of something I should include please let me know! You can email thedoublemama@gmail.com or find me on Twitter or Instagram.

 

NOW LET’S GO SHOP!!!!

The Year of the MOTHER

motherhood

mother sign

I don’t know whether it’s my age, but recently I’ve been aware that Motherhood is becoming cool and being a Mama is a badge of honour, to be worn with pride. Now let me put that statement in context. I first become a Mama at the tender age of 21, whilst still at University. That wasn’t cool at all. Going out, getting pissed, dancing naked in the city fountains – that was all cool. Dealing with nipples that were falling off because of a bad latch, was less so.

Now I’m fast approaching 30 (yikes) and suddenly being a Mama feels different. Is it my age?? Or is 2015 really the year of the Mother?!

Whatever the reason, there’s a load of Mama merch available from a host of inspiring Mum Bosses. I’ve rounded up the best of the bunch, the stuff I own or want to own, made by the most inspiring of Mothers. These items would make amazing presents for new Mamas – total babyshower inspo right here! And not forgetting MOTHER’S DAY! A whole dedicated day. Send this list to your other half in advance and you might, just might, get something other than a bunch of flowers 🙂

  1. The Selfish Mother #MotherTee 

selfish mother mother tee

I have one in black and coral to see me through the seasons. I’ve also bought a couple for friends. These t-shirts are super-soft, well-made and allow you to wear your Mother identity with pride. They can accommodate a bump and allow easy access to boobs (important if breastfeeding – just to clarify!). But the greatest bit of all is that the proceeds go to the charity Women for Women, meaning by buying and wearing one, you’re helping other Mothers in less well-developed countries access opportunities we take for granted. It’s an ace concept and the mastermind behind it, is Mum Boss Molly Gunn. Molly is also the woman behind the blogging platform Selfish Mother. If you haven’t heard of it before, check it out!

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2. The beautifully packaged Mere Soeur Goodies which include a Mere Soeur branded tank top and tote bag and best of all (IMO) a boob appreciation mug, which I have and use as much as possible. My son calls it “Mummy’s powerful boobs mug”. Still deciding whether to feel embarrassed or proud.

mere soeur mug

These goodies are sold by the super-sweet Mum Boss Carrie Anne, who is also co-founder of Crafted Sisterhood, which is a blog but also so much more. A supportive, inclusive network and platform for Mamas is probably a better description, and they organise Mama Meets too!


Mere Soeur Tote

3. The hugely popular (and almost always sold out) Cult of Youth Mama chain. Available in Gold, Silver or Rose Gold. These Mama chains have serious rock chick appeal are made by (brand new) Mum Boss Kelly Seymour. She’s one super mama juggling a new baby and a new business!  I can’t wait to get my hands on one…!

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4. Alternatively you might want to wear your Mummy title in a more Carrie-Bradshaw inspired style. If so, check out these Mummy chains from Anna Lou of London. You can also get a personalised one, so you could always go for Mother or Mama, if you prefer. Also available in Gold, Silver and Rose Gold.

Mummy necklace5. Every Mama needs a guidebook to help navigate her way through the exhausting, emotional, tumultuous, exhilarating, love-filled journey that is Motherhood. I’m not talking about a Gina Ford military-style how-to-parent handbook, I’m talking about this: How to be a Hip Mama without Losing your Cool.

mothers meetings book

This book, written by Jenny Scott, the original Mum Boss and founder of Mothers Meetings is a total must-have. It covers everything you actually need to know. It’s not about how to parent, it’s about how to keep being you! For any Mama who has ever felt a little lost or overwhelmed, this book is for YOU. Just like Mothers Meetings are, it’s fun, inspiring and motivational.

mothers meetings

6. YES MUM cards. The best £10.50 you’ll ever spend. Fact.

yes mum cards

Recommended by none other than Fearne Cotton, these cards are created by another mega Mum Boss, Hollie De Cruz. Hollie is single-handedly empowering women across the world in birth and motherhood. She runs London Hypnobirthing and is an incredible teacher (I can vouch for her amazingness!). She has recently launched these Yes Mum cards which are like a daily pat on the back and set you up for a better day. They work on the same principle as hypnobirthing affirmations, enabling you to utilise the power of positive programming. Plus they look real pretty. Every Mama needs a pack.

7.  Mama Jyms! Not only are these PJs from The Bright Company super comfy (an important requirement for PJs) but they come in a variety of awesome prints, and are designed by Mum Boss Alienor Falconer. However the best thing of all about these Mama Jyms is that you can get a matching pair for your little one! Thus creating the ultimate #twinningiswinning situation.

the bright company

I have already got a matching pair for myself and my eldest son (which we love) and a matching pair for the two brothers (which is beyond cute). Next up is a three-way coordination attempt. Something for the Christmas list 🙂

8. This one diverges slightly from the theme in that it’s not emblazoned with the words ‘Mother’ or ‘Mama’, but it is made FOR Mums and BY two Mums, so I figure it can still make the list! So without further ado, let me introduce the Mother of all changing bags (see what I did there?!) – the Tiba + Marl Elwood Backpack

tiba + marl elwood

Pictured above is the floral version but there is also a leopard print version and black faux leather option. Plus lots of other styles like the Raf holdall (available in floral, leopard or a black quilted version), the James satchel and the Mabel tote. All come with a change mat and a cross body bag for all your bits and pieces.

I can’t rave about these bags too much. If you’ve ever looked at the sad selection of changing bags available then you’ll know these bags have no competition. Tiba + Marl give changing bags a much-needed face lift but also boost your general wellbeing, because there’s nothing more depressing, for the style-conscious Mother, than having to forfeit your usual handbag to cart around an ugly-assed, wipe-clean, nappy bag.

tiba and marl raf

Also the brand has been launched by two awesome friends and Mum Bosses, Lydia and Anna, one of whom is an ex-Topshop buyer and the other an ex-Kurt Geiger designer. These ladies have serious design credentials and are super nice to boot. TIP: Get one on order now, before they sell out!

9. Don’t Buy Her Flowers – as above, these gifts may not be explicitly Mother branded, but they are designed for Mums, by a Mum. The Mum Boss behind this ingenious business is the lovely Steph Douglas, who featured on my blog a few weeks ago as part of my ‘In the Mother(hood)’ series.

don't buy her flowers

She was inspired to create thoughtful care packages for new Mums after having children herself and being given too many flowers. Also flowers can sometimes be pretty unoriginal, right? I mean they’re nice, of course, but when you’ve just pushed a baby out your vajayjay or undergone serious surgery to birth your child, there are other things you could do with more. Plus keeping a new baby alive is kind of a totally time and thought-consuming thing, so keeping anything else alive is just too much. That’s why the care packages are so brilliant. They are little boxes packed full of lovely things, stuff you really need and will appreciate, like dry shampoo, teabags and much-needed snacks. Buy one for you friend, or yourself. Spread the word.

dont buy her flowers

10. Lastly (and mostly because I like to end things on a nice even number), the original Mama merch, circa 1992, the ultimate Mama bling: the Argos Mum ring!!! Initially decided to include this as a bit of a joke, but now I’m thinking… I could rock one of those.

mum ring

Remember it?? I wonder how many Mothers were given one?! Had to be bestseller in the early 90s.

So there you have it, my round up of the best Mum Stuff (and celebration of Mum Bosses)!! Now it’s time to create a lust list and share with those who may be inclined to treat you… or just treat yourself. You deserve it, Mama 😉 x

A difference of opinion

Help Calais

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I get that people have differences in opinion and that’s usually a great thing and ignites debate, often forcing us to consider things we had not before and generally makes people interesting – I mean it would be pretty boring if we were all exactly the same.

When it comes to politics, there are pros and cons to everything and I don’t claim to know much at all but I do know there’s never a straightforward solution. Of course people have different opinions as to how matters such as the refugee crisis should be solved. And that’s ok.

What I find surprising is that people can disagree (and so strongly) with the idea of providing food and warm clothes to those who are starving and freezing. I’m talking about our fellow human beings who didn’t fare so well in the geographical lottery as us. People who have has to flea for their lives, make treacherous journeys and are now living in poverty, many without even a tent for a cover. Whatever situation they left behind, it’s unlikely it was better than the camp at Calais. What would it take for you to up and leave your home and go and live there? It would have to be pretty bad, right? So whether these people have personally been persecuted by ISIS or not, they most likely left places that are worse than we can imagine.

Anyway I am off to Calais next month with a van full of donations (hopefully) and have been on the receiving end of some messages from haters. I’m not particularly affected by them, in fact I feel sorry for some of them, but I thought I’d share because some are pretty shocking and to be honest, you can call me sheltered, but before yesterday I didn’t know anyone held such warped views….

  1. I’ve had a few of these just unhelpful “what about the xxx?” responses. I usually reply saying i’m all for supporting xxx and asking the person to just let me know when they’re doing something about the cause so apparently close to their heart. Of course in most cases, they’re doing sweet F.A. but are just happy to criticise who others choose to help, without helping anyone themselves.

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2. Then the “they’re not refugees, they’re migrants”. Oh yes. General migrants deserve to be cold and starving because they’ve chosen to come for no good reason. They’ve left behind great lives to go hungry and live off charitable handouts at Calais. They don’t deserve help. ARE YOU KIDDING?

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3. Then we have the offensive and hilarious…

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Yep, he really does suggest I give the refugees my milk. My breastmilk. He obviously read my bio where I explain tongue-in-cheek that my current occupation (as a mum to a newish baby) is making milk. Hilarious. What wit.

4. Back to the “what about the xxx?” we have this one…

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Hear that! We should help our own people! Not those at Calais, they’re not our own people. WTF?

5. But someone agrees with her and raises another issue…!

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Those in Calais are not persecuted by ISIS, you’re right. Because they managed to escape. Many of them did risk their lives at sea – how do you think they got there?? I’m just confused at this point. Is she suggesting I should drop my donations into the sea to help those who need it most? Fu*k the people in Calais, they made it, they don’t need help. Mental.

6. Finally we have the very, very, very worst. In fact this guy needs to come with a warning. I’ve blocked him from tweeting me but here’s a selection of his tweets from this morning:

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Yes he believes all refugees are suicide bombers, Germany (who have welcomed a large number of refugees) are going to be sending them to the gas chambers because, I quote, #leoparddoesntchangespots, and has also managed to throw in some offensive remarks aimed at Muslim people just for good measure. Absolutely shocking.

So I started by explaining how I value that people have different opinions, but don’t you think this is crazy?? I think there are some fundamental basics that ideally everyone should agree on like BE NICE, TREAT PEOPLE WITH RESPECT, HAVE COMPASSION FOR FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS IN TIMES OF CRISIS. Such a shame that some people aren’t on board with this.

If you want to keep up to date with my efforts and find out how you can help please join my FB page: COSMO FOR CALAIS. I have also set up a Just Giving page and all money raised will be spent on food for those at Calais, many of whom go without a meal each day. Please give generously and help me spread the word by sharing the links to the above pages.  Let’s fight hate with love people x