It is Freshers’ Week so it made me think about my first week at university and the things I did during Freshers Week.

1. I cried when my parents left me there.
2. I bumped into a girl literally as we both tried to get to the loss. She is my friend 24 years later.
3. I met a girl from Glasgow and thought she was from overseas as I could not tell a word she was saying. We were friends for many years.
4. I ate spinach and walnut soup – Yuck!
5. I worried that I was the only Northern and working-class person in the place.
6. I discovered a whole new language – bop, bedder, sweaty bop, pigeonhole, supervision etc
7. I got locked in the loo during the Freshers’ Dinner. I bumped into another girl on coming out and we are still friends.
8. I attended the Freshers’ Fair but did not have the confidence to join any societies there.
9. I had a really good buffet lunch at the Christian Union event.
10. I met a girl whose relation was a really famous artist.
11. I felt inadequate as everyone went on about their exciting years off in Peru etc.
12. I developped my first college crush.
13. I visited my first law library.
14. I shopped at the largest bookshop I had every seen.
15. I discovered Nadia’s patisserie.
16. I met a rotten Roman Law teacher.
17. I got hit on the head with a ruler when I fell asleep in a lecture.
18. I saw the Madonna film Desperately Seeking Susan.
19. I went to a pub with people I would never socialise with again.
20. I decided that this was possibly the best move I was every going to make and it was!

brill

So what bargains have I to celebrate this week?

I had a very strange experience last week when I visited a charity shop and bought absolutely nothing. This may be a first. There was the odd thing I fancied but I was put off by a rather officious male member of staff who as well as changing displays around in a weird way was also mouth almighty. I like peace when I am charity-shopping.

So the bargain that I would like to celebrate this week comes from the Netmums UK Nearly New board.

I spent £45 which I grant you is quite a lot of money when you are claiming it is a bargain. In return, I got two huge bundles of clothing that should keep my youngest clothed for the next 2-3 years. I have bought from the seller before and her clothing is always clean and of good quality. We are talking brands such as Gap, Timberland and Next.

For £45, I got 2 dressing gowns, 2 sets of pyjamas, socks, pants, vests, jumpers, cardigans, T-shirts, shirts, trousers, tracksuits and shorts.

I was so keen to share my bounty with you this week in pictures but that blasted camera has let me down again. Hoping I can get pictures up later today or tomorrow at the latest.

So this week, I was very practical in my bargain-hunting so hope to report on some quirky curios next week.

Now check out some rather lovely bloggers and their bargain finds.

<a href=”http://missielizziemeandmyshadow.blogspot.com/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i785.photobucket.com/albums/yy135/missielizzie/MagpieMondayBadge.png” border=”0″ alt=”Me and My Shadow” />

With love from the Striking Mum x

Dear Joan – Thank you for your calm voice and advising me not to scream. Thank you for treating myself, my husband and our new baby as individuals with our own specific needs. Thanks for talking in a down-to-earth and humorous way before during and after my son’s birth.

Dear Daniel – Thank you for being the first to change my son’s nappy. Thank you for telling me it is normal to be tired when you have young children and work too. Thank you for never making me feel stupid even when I was.

Please reflect on #healthworkers and rush over to sign the Save The Children petition.

Visit http://mdplife.blogspot.com for more information on little steps you can take to make a huge difference.

Do you want to know how to lose half a stone in a week?

I jumped on the weighing scales before the children got up and the school run chaos commenced.

I have lost, wait for it girls, ta ta ta, half a stone in a week!!!

I was expecting a pound if I was lucky.

I have done well on the eating front. Perfection nope but definitely a far healthier eating plan than usual.

The good stuff has included cereals, fish, eggs and Weightwatcher meals.

The less than perfect included a fish and chip lunch, pate and a roast dinner. All three of these were related to pleasing family members in one way or another. Something to learn from that I am sure.

Exercise wise, I have been more active but not really done proper exercise as such.

I know that I will not keep losing at this rate but it is a great motivation to stick with things.

I would like to say a huge thank you to the lovely ladies who leave comments on this site, both those participating in Mumentum and those who are not. You all really make a big difference to how I feel and how positive I can be.

So here am I with a new pair of trousers with a belt so that I can keep tightening it, with a new bra size and feeling very good about myself. I am lighter now than I have been for about 3 years, still gigantic but getting smaller and on the right track.

My daughter said to me “Maybe it is the weight that keeps holding you down”. I thought this was deep really in terms of both my physicality and my emotional health.

Now visit the New Mum Online blog and see how other Mumentum members are getting on or even better, join them. You can also track down these ladies on Twitter via #mumentum

Here’s to every mom who is trying to get sorted whether they are struggling or not currently.

With love from the Striking Mum x

What is the profile of a blogger? Are bloggers a diverse bunch or all the same? In my series of interviews with female lifestyle and parenting bloggers, I discover the wide range of women who find meaning through blogging. Huge thanks to Louise for sharing her views on blogging.

Profile OF A Blogger

Why did you start to blog?

I’ve always loved to write, as I child I was forever writing stories and I even did a journalism course after uni but then my children came along and I barely had time to wash my hair never mind writing.

Then one day I read a blog about parenting and thought ‘I could do that’ and so I did, and I thought I would be read straight away, then reality hit and I realised how much hard work blogging really is. After a good year of slogging away, the opps finally started coming and now it’s my job!

How did you feel when you started blogging?

Honestly, disappointed! I had genuinely been under the illusion that ‘write and they shall read it’! But then excited as things started to grow on social media. And it also makes me happy.

What is your blog about?

My blog is about my life. There is a lot about parenting as that is something I spend most of my time doing, and then there is also a lot of things we enjoy. We’re really outdoorsy and so there are a lot of days out, stories about our camper van trips and crafts too, I like to do lots of them!

What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?

I recently got a column in my local paper based on my blog. That was a real high point for me, seeing my words in print.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

I’m not actually sure. I really enjoy the buzz of getting an exciting opportunity or reaching a new goal on social media but mainly I love it when I get a comment from someone saying that something I’ve written has helped them or that they can relate. It’s lovely to connect to people.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Having the time to keep up with all the different social media channels and write. It’s hard to balance it all with motherhood too.

What surprised you most about blogging?

How much work it really is! Seriously! It’s a full time job for sure. 🙂

How do you collaborate or work in partnership with other bloggers?

I have some really fab blogging buddies and we pass details to PRs etc. I also run a link up with friends.

What would lead to you giving up blogging?

Oh that’s so tough. If my husband or children really hated me doing it I’d have to have a good think.

Why should I read your blog?

Because it would make me really happy! But apart from that, because I hope that you would enjoy it.

What are the aims of your blog?

That’s quite a tough one to answer! It’s mainly to share mny own experiences and to let others know that it’s ok to not be ok, to wing it, to eat Coco Pops for dinner every night for a week occasionally! I’ve also written about my PND journey in the help it might help others and I also share our experiences of days out and reviews of things we have loved. Another aim is to build a career for myself that I can do around the children.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Well, I do have a few social media links if anyone fancied following me on any of them. There’s different content across all of them, but a running theme is generally outdoors with the family, chatter, unicorns, rainbows and lots and lots of cake!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pinkpearbear/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pinkpearbear/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/pinkpearbear

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/PinkPearBear/